WHAG will Deliver Over 50 Hours Weekly of Locally-Produced News, Lifestyle, Weather, Sports and Community Programming in Full High-Definition
Expansion Increases Local Coverage in Maryland and Northern Virginia while Bringing West Virginia Viewers the Only Available State-Wide Local News Programming
New Field Offices and Expanded Team of Leading Local Journalists to Deliver More Compelling Local News and Community Content On-air and Online at Your4State.com
HAGERSTOWN, Maryland and IRVING, Texas – Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXST) announced today that WHAG-TV, serving Central and Western Maryland, South Central Pennsylvania, the Eastern panhandle of West Virginia and Northern Virginia (DMA #7) for over 45 years, will significantly expand its highly-viewed locally originated news programming under the “Your Local News Leader” brand, with the initial launch beginning July 1, 2016. In association with the news expansion, Nexstar will be investing approximately $1.0 million to relocate WHAG-TV’s news bureaus, open additional field offices, add over a dozen news and production personnel, develop new on-air graphics and purchase new equipment, weather technology and traffic systems to complement the additional programming. The investment reflects WHAG’s history of significant local news viewership with the majority of advertiser and audience interest in WHAG’s local content programming. In addition, the station will hire additional marketing and sales personnel to ensure local businesses and advertisers in the expanded coverage area have access to WHAG-TV’s suite of unparalleled multiplatform marketing solutions. Nexstar’s investment to expand WHAG-TV’s local news programming and staff highlights the Company’s organization-wide commitment to broadcasting excellence and enhanced service to local communities in the Four States region.
The unprecedented expansion will deliver over 20 additional hours of local news to its new weekly broadcast schedule, increasing WHAG-TV’s locally-produced news, lifestyle, sports, weather and community programming to over 50 hours per week. In addition to more local programming hours, the expansion brings WHAG-TV’s highly-rated local news coverage to new geographic areas with the addition of original newscasts unique to local viewing communities in Maryland and Northern Virginia as well as West Virginia’s only available state-wide local news. Importantly, WHAG-TV’s local news expansion directly addresses the needs of the local communities outside the Beltway, particularly in Montgomery County, Maryland and Northern Virginia, by bringing viewers the only full-coverage local television news programming targeted to their local communities.
Hugh Breslin, Vice President and General Manager of WHAG-TV stated, “Nexstar and our Four State station operations are dedicated to supporting the evolving needs and interests of our local viewing communities, hometown businesses, and public organizations. This is a very exciting time for WHAG-TV and our local viewers as this unprecedented expansion will increase our locally-produced news, lifestyle, sports, weather and community programming to over 50 hours per week, with 24/7 access to additional compelling local content online at Your4State.com. In addition, we will continue to elevate our community service by launching new locally-originated programming specifically for viewers in Maryland, Northern Virginia and throughout West Virginia State. Importantly, the expansion of our news programming under the ‘Your Local News Leader’ brand reflects our unwavering commitment to delivering superior local news, entertainment programming and exclusive content to local viewers while offering businesses and advertisers unparalleled marketing opportunities across all screens and devices.
“Our market leading local news content will be complemented by a range of prime time shows, blockbuster movies and other entertainment programming – all expanding upon the service we have provided to our viewers for over 45 years. Our viewers have requested more local news content from our team, particularly in regions west of the Washington beltway where a local voice has been absent and viewing trends confirm there’s a growing demand for our brand of local news. WHAG-TV has a strong history of responding to the needs of our viewers, and the unprecedented expansion of our local news programming and coverage is an extension of that legacy. We are grateful for the tremendous support and positive feedback we have received from the local community about our planned local news expansion and enhancement and look forward to the upcoming launch later this year.”
Broadcast in full HD, WHAG-TV’s multimedia journalists will deliver news from its repositioned news bureaus in Winchester, VA and Germantown, MD to better reflect the station’s expanded coverage area, and expects to open an additional office in the Centerville, VA area in the first quarter of 2017. WHAG-TV studios are currently outfitted with advanced production resources and technologies, including state-of-the-art HD cameras, weather forecasting equipment and locally-themed news sets. However, Nexstar will invest in other equipment and technology resources to support the over 20 additional hours of local news. In addition, the expanded team of journalists will provide viewers with more local news content relevant to the Four States communities through additive and enhanced digital applications with both mobile and desktop accessibility on Your4State.com.
WHAG-TV will continue to be available on the same cable, satellite and over the air channels as today.
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 103 television stations and 54 low power and digital multicast signals reaching 62 markets or approximately 18.0% of all U.S. television households. Nexstar’s portfolio includes primary affiliates of NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, MyNetworkTV and The CW and multicast affiliates of Telemundo, Bounce TV, Me-TV, LATV, Estrella, This TV, Weather Nation Utah, Movies! and News/Weather. Nexstar’s 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 provide sales and other services to 171 television stations and their related low power and digital multicast signals reaching 100 markets or approximately 39% of all U.S. television households. For more information please visit www.nexstar.tv.
This communication 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, Nexstar 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 communication, concerning, among other things, the ultimate outcome and benefits of any possible transaction between Nexstar and Media General and timing thereof, and future financial performance, including 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 timing to consummate the proposed transaction; the risk that a condition to closing of the proposed transaction may not be satisfied and the transaction may not close; the risk that a regulatory approval that may be required for the proposed transaction is delayed, is not obtained or is obtained subject to conditions that are not anticipated, the impact of changes in national and regional economies, the ability to service and refinance our outstanding debt, successful integration of Media General (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, volatility in programming costs, the effects of governmental regulation of broadcasting, industry consolidation, technological developments and major world news events. Unless required by law, Nexstar undertakes 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 communication 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 Media General’s and Nexstar’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Joseph Jaffoni, Jennifer Neuman
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