Core local TV advertising at Nexstar Media Group, the biggest U.S. TV station group, slipped 1.4% to $411.7 million in the first quarter due to comparisons with higher revenues in the pre-pandemic period -- the first three months of 2020.
“We are seeing some clear differences in terms of the pace of recovery in core advertising by geographic region and reopening stage,” says the company in its earnings release. “We expect core advertising to return to growth over the prior year beginning in the second quarter of 2021.”
After last year’s presidential election season, political advertising was down almost 90% to $5.4 million from $55.3 million. Nexstar says new business advertising revenue posted a strong 149% increase to $27.8 million over the year-ago period.
Distribution revenues, including retransmission fees, however, remained strong -- up 13% to $621.2 million. Total digital revenues grew 18% to $66.4 million.
Overall revenues at the company were up 2% $1.11 billion, with net income 26% higher to $199.2 million.
Mid-day Tuesday trading of Nexstar’s stock was down 1% to $146.88. Since the beginning of the year, the stock is up 30%.