WZDX-TV Elevates Commitment To Northern Alabama Viewers With Multi-Million Dollar Investment To Expand And Enhance Huntsville’s Leading Primetime Evening News
Nexstar Broadcasting to Remodel WZDX’s Station Operations into a State-Of-The-Art, High Definition Broadcast News Facility to Support April Launch of its Own New Locally-Produced News Programming
Expanded Team of Community’s Leading Journalists to Deliver More Compelling Local News Content On-air and Online at RocketCityNow.com
HUNTSVILLE, Alabama and IRVING, Texas (December 17, 2015) – Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXST) announced today that WZDX-TV, the FOX affiliate serving the Huntsville, Alabama market (DMA #79), will launch its own locally-based news programming beginning April 4, 2016. In addition to the enhancement of the station’s local news content, WZDX-TV will expand its market-leading and longest running primetime evening local newscast to one full hour, airing Monday through Sunday from 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. CT. In association with the news expansion, Nexstar will be investing $3.3 million to remodel the WZDX-TV broadcast facilities on North Memorial Parkway, upgrade overall news reporting capabilities and add over 20 news and production personnel to support the additional programming. Nexstar’s investment to expand local news programming, hire additional news personnel and fully upgrade all aspects of the stations’ technical infrastructure highlights the Company’s organization-wide commitment to broadcasting excellence and enhanced service to local communities and viewers.
“Live, local television news connects our viewers to their communities and provides viewers with a reliable source of essential information and in-depth coverage of breaking news events, weather, investigative reporting and compelling local stories. We are proud to serve our local viewers with critical information and take this responsibility very seriously,” said Tim Busch, Nexstar Broadcasting Executive Vice President and Co-Chief Operating Officer. “Nexstar’s significant investment in its Huntsville television and news operations will bring local viewers enhanced local news programming and event coverage from our new state-of-the-art Huntsville facilities. The expansion of WZDX-TV’s 9:00 p.m. primetime news programming to a full hour Monday through Sunday, combined with the 24/7 support of our digital content delivery through RocketCityNow.com will give viewers and users access to the most relevant and compelling local news in the marketplace. Nexstar’s unwavering dedication to provide superior local content while delivering an enhanced marketing platform for local businesses and advertisers are key components of our long-term success and we remain committed to delivering exceptional local programming and marketing services in Huntsville and the surrounding communities.”
Mark Overstreet, Vice President and General Manager of WZDX-TV, added “Nexstar and our Huntsville station operations are dedicated to supporting the evolving needs and interests of our local viewing communities, hometown businesses, and public organizations. Localism is our top priority and the expansion of WZDX-TV’s local news programming on-air and online at RocketCityNow.com will provide Northern Alabama viewers with more local news content where, when, and how they want it. Withthe upcoming opening of our fully remodeled full high definition (HD) broadcast and digital facilities, we will simultaneously raise our commitment to local viewers and advertisers with enhanced content production, marketing opportunities and an overall improved viewing experience for the community at large.”
Broadcast in full HD, WZDX-TV’s journalists will deliver news from fully remodeled state-of-the-art studios outfitted with advanced production resources and technologies. The upgrade of WZDX’s broadcast center will include a locally-themed news set, state-of-the-art HD cameras and production capabilities, renovated offices and weather forecasting equipment featuring early warning technology and advanced alert systems. In addition, the expanded team of journalists will provide viewers with more local news content relevant to the communities of Northern Alabama through additive and enhanced digital applications with both mobile and desktop accessibility on RocketCityNow.com.
Nexstar purchased WZDX-TV on December 1, 2014. WZDX-TV launched a 9:00 p.m. newscast in 2008. The 30-minute, nightly news program will continue to air on WZDX-TV in its current format until the launch of the station’s new and expanded local news programming on April 4, 2016.
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 106 television stations and related digital multicast signals reaching 57 markets or approximately 17.3% of all U.S. television households. Nexstar’s portfolio includes affiliates of NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, MyNetworkTV, The CW, 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 115 television stations and related digital multicast signals reaching 62 markets or approximately 18.1% of all U.S. television households.
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.
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