Nexstar’s net revenue for the quarter ended September 30, 2009 totaled $60.4 million, a 14.1% decline from record third quarter revenue of $70.3 million in the comparable period of 2008. The lower net revenue reflects a $6.8 million or 87.0% reduction in gross political spending as well as the overall downturn in advertising spending due to the impact of the current economic recession. The net revenue decline related to the economy and significant reductions in political and automotive spending more than offset a 28.1% year-over-year increase in total revenue derived from retransmission consent agreements, e-media initiatives and management fees.
Perry A. Sook, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Inc., commented, “Nexstar’s third quarter results highlight the benefits of our revenue initiatives related to retransmission consent agreements, e-MEDIA and management agreements; select accretive station acquisitions; and our success in generating new local direct advertising. Third quarter retransmission consent revenues increased 27.4% to $7.9 million while e-MEDIA revenues rose 8.8% to $3.0 million. While we continue to generate record aggregate quarterly revenue from these sources, Nexstar also recorded approximately $0.5 million of management fee revenue in the 2009 third quarter. As a result, despite the unfavorable economic environment, Nexstar’s 2009 revenue comparisons, excluding political, have improved on a quarterly sequential basis throughout the year.
“In addition to the Company’s revenue initiatives, we have focused throughout 2009 on de-leveraging the balance sheet and addressing our capital structure, as earlier this year we repurchased $29.0 million of our outstanding notes at a discount and exchanged nearly all of our 7% Senior Subordinated cash interest paying notes due 2014 for Senior Subordinated Payment In Kind notes due 2014. As a result, 2009 third quarter total interest expense was reduced by 25.3% while cash interest expense declined 52.2% from the same period last year. Free cash flow of $5.3 million in the third quarter of 2009, a 40.8% rise over last year, benefited from reduced capital expenditures related to the completion of digital television conversion spending and the cash interest expense reduction.
Nexstar Broadcasting owns/operates KODE and KSNF in Joplin and KOLR and KSFX in Springfield.