The increase to $453.4 million is pegged to 12% higher retrans money and growth in core advertising revenue.
Dismiss, deny and reject. That was Nexstar and Tribune’s advice to the FCC related to the various parties that petitioned the FCC to block their merger as not in the public interest. They were responding to petitions to deny filed six groups and concerns raised by NCTA—The Internet & Television Association and the American Television Alliance, both of which said that without various conditions the deal should be denied.
The spinoffs reflect Nexstar’s regulatory compliance plan to secure approvals for its Tribune Media deal. Tegna is buying 11 stations in eight markets and Scripps gets eight stations in seven markets.
Peter Kern, Tribune chief executive officer, said: “We’re extremely pleased with today’s vote. We look forward to continuing our work with Nexstar to obtain the necessary regulatory approvals that will enable us to close this transaction later this year.”
The jump to $576.9 million was driven by an $89.2 million increase in political ad revenue and $158.3 million in retransmission and carriage fee revenues, partially offset by a $10.5 million, or 4%, decrease in core ad revenues.
Tribune promotes the station manager of its Fox-CW duopoly in St. Louis to VP and general manager, succeeding Spencer Koch who retired last year.
Nexstar has identified three stations it plans to sell and 11 other markets where it intends to divest stations so that its acquisition of Tribune Media can obtain regulatory approvals. The first stations going on the block are WTKR Norfolk, Va.; WGNT Portsmouth, Va,; and WNEP Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
Tribune Media and Charter’s Spectrum cable systems have agreed to extend the deadline for their carriage contract to 5 p.m. ET Wednesday, averting a blackout of 33 TV stations that would have taken effect at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.
The spinoffs necessary for regulatory approval will include stations in at least 13 of 15 markets: Portland, Ore., Salt Lake City; Des Moines, Iowa; Ft. Smith, Ark; Davenport, Iowa; Memphis, Grand Rapids, Mich; Indianapolis, Huntsville, Ala; Hartford, Conn.; Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Pa.; Harrisburg, Pa.; Hagerstown, Md.; Richmond, Va; and Norfold, Va. Nexstar CEO Perry Sook says he expects those spinoffs will sell for around $1 billion.