Amidst overall soaring political ad revenue, Nexstar Media Group’s core advertising suffered in the fourth quarter due to softness in the national TV market as well displacement of political advertising in the period.
Core revenue for the biggest U.S. TV station group revenue was down 3.3% to $478 million, with political advertising rocketing up to $266 million.
Nexstar's stock price was down 4.3% to $183.96 in early Tuesday morning trading just after the company released its fourth-quarter financial results.
Although core advertising took a major hit, the company noted a “more stable advertising market” --- boosted by a new local TV advertising incentive program revenue of $37 million. It says core ad results were flat prior to the start of the fourth quarter period.
These results include Nexstar’s 75% majority acquisition of The CW, a deal that closed in September 2022. The acquisition of the CW helped soften the low results of core advertising.
For the year, political advertising pulled in $506 million -- Nexstar's best result ever in a non-Presidential year.
Overall quarterly revenue rose 19% to $1.49 billion for the quarter and climbed 12% for all of 2022 to $5.2 billion -- the first time the major U.S. TV station group exceeded $5.2 billion.
Distribution revenue for flat at $615 million with digital revenue inching up by 10% to $112 million.
Excluding The CW, fourth-quarter revenue amounted to $1.42 billion --14% higher.
The company's closely watched adjusted cash flow -- earnings before interest taxes, depreciation and amortization -- increased 32.5% to $661.8 million.