With the purchase of Scranton, PA station WYOU in 1996, broadcast industry veteran and current Nexstar Chairman, President and CEO, Perry A. Sook, founded Nexstar and began building the foundation of what 20 years later has become the largest portfolio of local broadcast television stations in the United States.
Since its inception, Nexstar has actively and successfully remained at the forefront of industry innovation by leveraging its award-winning local programming and content into complementary revenue streams. The Company has continued to expand the reach of the station group by completing transactions that benefit the communities it serves, its employees and shareholders.
“Building a company serving medium-sized markets and smaller markets in local media with a substantial commitment to local news, and growing the local news was where we saw our niche,” Sook told Broadcasting and Cable.
The company went public in 2003 shortly after acquiring Quorum Broadcasting and other stations that doubled Nexstar’s station portfolio.
In 2005 Nexstar and Sook took a historic stand by demanding payment from pay-TV services for retransmission of local programming, winning a fight that benefited not only Nexstar, but all local broadcasters. Today, retransmission fees represent a substantial portion of local broadcasters’ revenue.
Nexstar continued aggressive acquisition and revenue diversification strategies, achieving strong revenue, EBITDA and free cash flow growth that ultimately led to the 2016 purchase of 71 television stations and the digital media properties of Media General. With the completion of the transaction in January 2017, Nexstar owns and operates 170 television stations and reaching 100 markets or nearly 38.7% of all U.S. television households, making it the largest broadcasting group in the nation in terms of number of television stations / markets and expected revenue and second largest in terms of household reach.
Along with growing its local broadcasting and local digital footprint, Nexstar moved deeper into the digital space by launching Lakana, its enterprise-class technology digital solution business, Tactive Digital, a suite of advertising and marketing products to meet the demands of small, medium and large businesses, and Yashi, a location-focused media buying platform that provides video advertising solution for national and regional agencies and local media sellers.
As the organization grows, Nexstar continues to simultaneously raise its commitment to support the evolving needs and interests of the local viewers, hometown businesses and community organizations that it proudly serves each day.