Nexstar Media, fresh off its acquisition of Media General, saw huge year-over-year increases that resulted in record first-quarter revenue.
First quarter net revenue rose 111% to reach a record $540 million, which helped drive operating income to $110 million and adjusted EBITDA of $171.5 million before one-time transaction expenses.
In January, Nexstar capped its Media General acquisition with the divestitures of 13 television stations, causing an impact of $47.7 million of one-time transaction expenses during the first quarter.
“A partial quarter’s contribution from the Media General transaction and the continued strength of Nexstar’s legacy operations led to triple digit growth in all of our non-political revenue sources and combined with our expense discipline and focus on managing operations for cash flow, resulted in BCF, Adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow growth before transaction expenses of 91.9%, 97.6% and 80.5%, respectively,” said Nexstar Media CEO Perry Sook in a statement. “Importantly, the Media General integration and synergy realization plans are proceeding ahead of schedule, and to date we have harvested approximately 85% of the $81 million of year one synergies we previously identified.”
Nexstar Media is anticipating its non-political revenue will continue to grow in 2017, leading to a sixth consecutive year of record financials.
With political advertising revenue falling after the election year, Nexstar Media’s first-quarter core television ad revenue still grew 117%. The company also recorded a 138% rise in retransmission fee revenue and a 107% increase in digital media revenue.
“Highlighting further success against our diversification initiatives, combined digital media and retransmission fee revenue of $278.6 million more than doubled compared to the prior year period and accounted for 51.6% of net revenue marking the highest contribution to our quarterly revenue mix for the combined metric and significant growth over the 2016 first quarter level of 46.9%,” Sook said.