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TheStreet Open House

Nexstar Broadcasting Group's CEO Discusses Q1 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Stocks in this article: NXST

Nexstar's strong operating and financial momentum continues into the first quarter of 2011, as reflected by our all-time record first quarter revenues and our record odd year EBITDA and free cash flow. With most companies in our sector now having reported, I think it's fair to say that Nexstar's revenue growth in the first quarter was among the best in the industry. At the same time, we continue to make excellent progress in streamlining our capital structure, reducing our leverage and lowering our weighted average cost of debt.

During Q1, our focus on building new-to-television local direct billings, combined with the ongoing advertising recovery, drove Nexstar's 6 consecutive quarter core television revenue growth, core revenue being comprised of just local and national advertising. By again coupling our core revenue growth with further execution of our strategies to diversify our revenue sources, we handled the offset, the 82% year-over-year decline in political advertising, as well as the benefit of approximately $4.5 million in last year's first quarter from advertising related to the Winter Olympics.

Notably, excluding the impact of political revenue from both periods, Nexstar's first quarter 2011 revenue rose approximately 5.2% compared with the first quarter of 2010. And while we expected political revenue to drop from the 2010 levels, our 2011 Q1 gross political revenue exceeded the levels in Q1 of 2009 by about 30%.

Nexstar's 2011 first quarter net revenue increase of 1.9% was driven by growth in both core local and national revenue, including another double-digit gain in automotive advertising, as well as ongoing robust e-MEDIA and retransmission fee revenue growth. Total first quarter retransmission fee, mobile, and e-MEDIA and management fee revenue collectively rose 17.1% to $12.7 million, and these higher margin revenue streams accounted for over 18% of our 2011 first quarter net revenue. That's their highest contribution to our quarterly revenue mix since we created these revenue streams.

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