Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:NXST) announced today that WJMN-TV, the CBS affiliate serving Marquette and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (DMA 180), will launch new, innovative local news programming beginning in April 2014. In concert with Nexstar’s organization-wide commitment to broadcasting excellence and locally-originated news programming, WJMN-TV will launch under the branding “LOCAL 3,” which will air Monday through Friday at 6:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. in full high definition. To support the LOCAL 3 News operations and an expanded staff, Nexstar will open a new state-of-the-art broadcast facility just west of Marquette, MI in what will become WJMN-TV Plaza. The new facility is currently under construction and will feature a dynamic news studio outfitted with the latest high definition news production resources, broadcast technologies and presentation equipment. “Nexstar is a collection of local businesses serving local viewers and the communities where we operate,” said Perry Sook, Nexstar’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Localism is the top priority at Nexstar and we have over 3,000 employees who are committed to addressing the needs of local viewers, hometown businesses, and organizations across 44 markets with in-depth local news coverage and other content and programming relevant to these communities. Nexstar and Mission will continue to build on their industry-wide leadership in delivering exceptional service in our markets as the organization pursues its goals for continued growth.” Nexstar consistently elevates the level of service provided to local communities in the markets it serves across the United States by making meaningful capital investments to expand local news, lifestyle, sports, weather and other programming and enhancing station infrastructure, production resources and technologies. The Company’s initiatives in these areas include:
- Nexstar produces local news programming on 95% of the stations that it owns, operates, programs or provides sales and other services to, totaling 70 local news producing television stations serving 41 markets;
- Approximately three quarters of Nexstar and Mission Broadcasting’s markets have invested in and are producing HD newscasts;
- Over the last five years Nexstar and Mission have:
- Invested approximately $78 million to expand local news programming and make technology and infrastructure enhancements. These investments follow approximately $85 million of investments in broadcasting technology by Nexstar, which concluded in 2009, for digital conversions of its television broadcasting platform.
- More than doubled the total hours of locally produced programming on a weekly and annual basis
- Opened five new state-of-the-art broadcast facilities in Joplin, MO, Fayetteville, AR, Memphis, TN, Fresno, CA, and Marquette, MI;
- In acknowledgement of outstanding journalistic contributions and local community service, Nexstar and Mission stations have garnered more than 330 awards over the past five years including:
- 161 State Broadcast Association Awards
- 64 Local and Other Broadcasting Awards
- 42 State Associated Press Awards
- 24 Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards
- 16 State Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Awards
- 15 Emmy Awards
Mr. Sook concluded, “Nexstar’s organization-wide commitment to broadcasting excellence for local viewers and unparalleled marketing results for our advertisers has been a key component of our success and long-term growth. Across our station portfolio, Nexstar and Mission’s strong local franchises provide viewers high-quality local news content and programming while offering businesses an effective marketing platform to sell their products and services.“Each station has a unique way of demonstrating its local community commitment and service that extends beyond the station’s compelling local news, weather, and sports programming. For example, KGET added a Telemundo newscast to serve the Hispanic community in Bakersfield, California; KTAL provided free health screening and school supplies to over 1,000 children from low-income families in Shreveport, Louisiana through its annual ‘Back to School’ program; and KODE/ KSNF broadcast a Joplin City Council Election Special profiling candidates and issues so local residents can make informed decisions on election day. And in times of disaster and tragedy, Nexstar stations and news personnel take the lead in delivering accurate, timely, and sometimes life-saving information to local communities. We are proud that Nexstar and Mission stations continue to make meaningful contributions in serving the needs of viewers in the local markets where we operate.” About Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Inc. Nexstar Broadcasting Group is a leading diversified media company that leverages localism to bring new services and value to consumers and advertisers through its traditional media, digital and mobile media platforms. Nexstar owns, operates, programs or provides sales and other services to 74 television stations and 13 related digital multicast signals reaching 44 markets or approximately 12.1% of all U.S. television households. Nexstar’s portfolio includes affiliates of NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, MyNetworkTV, The CW, Telemundo, Bounce TV and independent stations. Nexstar’s 43 community portal websites offer additional hyper-local content and verticals for consumers and advertisers, allowing audiences to choose where, when and how they access content while creating new revenue opportunities.
Pro-forma for the completion of all announced transactions Nexstar will own, operate, program or provides sales and other services to 108 television stations and related digital multicast signals reaching 56 markets or approximately 16.0% of all U.S. television households.Forward-Looking Statements This news release includes forward-looking statements. We have based these forward-looking statements on our current expectations and projections about future events. Forward-looking statements include information preceded by, followed by, or that includes the words "guidance," "believes," "expects," "anticipates," "could," or similar expressions. For these statements, the Company claims the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The forward-looking statements contained in this news release, concerning, among other things, changes in net revenue, cash flow and operating expenses, involve risks and uncertainties, and are subject to change based on various important factors, including the impact of changes in national and regional economies, our ability to service and refinance our outstanding debt, successful integration of acquired television stations (including achievement of synergies and cost reductions), pricing fluctuations in local and national advertising, future regulatory actions and conditions in the television stations' operating areas, competition from others in the broadcast television markets served by the Company, volatility in programming costs, the effects of governmental regulation of broadcasting, industry consolidation, technological developments and major world news events. Unless required by law, we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. In light of these risks, uncertainties and assumptions, the forward-looking events discussed in this news release might not occur. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this release. For more details on factors that could affect these expectations, please see our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.