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  • Wed, Nov. 9, 7:32 AM
    • Media General (NYSE:MEG): Q3 EPS of -$0.53 may not be comparable to consensus of $0.32.
    • Revenue of $377M (+17.2% Y/Y) misses by $27.35M.
    • Press Release
    | Wed, Nov. 9, 7:32 AM
  • Tue, Nov. 8, 5:30 PM
  • Thu, Oct. 6, 7:45 PM
    • Nexstar (NXST +0.3%) chief Perry Sook says he's a "patient man," but he's eager to get FCC sign-off on the company's deal for Media General (NYSE:MEG).
    • Named today one of the Library of American Broadcasting Foundation's 2016 industry giants, Sook suggested he's ready to get on with creating Nexstar Media -- a giant TV group which would have 171 full-power broadcast stations.
    • A slow-going FCC broadcast incentive spectrum auction is dragging the deal out, however. The agency said it wouldn't approve deals until the completion of the process, which is at least a couple of months away if not falling into 2017.
    • The company cleared antitrust issues and locked down a $2.75B loan, key to buyout financing. It's also filed a supplement to a waiver request with the FCC, pushing for prompt approval of the deal.
    • Sook says the new company will be more multiplatform than traditional TV group. “My job is to remind everyone that we are a local media business," he says. "We are in the business of creating and distributing local, relevant content ... and we help local businesses grow.”
    | Thu, Oct. 6, 7:45 PM
  • Tue, Sep. 27, 7:32 PM
    • Nexstar Broadcasting (NXST -0.4%) has priced a $2.75B term loan at a lower cost than it expected -- saving millions, it says, and locking down the financing for its acquisition of Media General (MEG -0.1%).
    • The company priced a $2.75B term loan B facility at 99.75% of face value, bearing interest at Libor plus 3% (with a 0% Libor floor), and a seven-year maturity.
    • Nexstar will use proceeds along with $900M from previously issued senior notes, cash from asset divestitures and some new stock issuance to fund the acquisition, repay its credit facilities, repay Media General indebtedness and cover fees and expenses tied to the deal.
    • With the major piece done, Nexstar says it will see interest expense $60M/year lower than it forecast, which should result in $40M of additional pro forma free cash flow. That means total free cash flow annually of $540M on average over the 2016-2017 period, it says.
    • Nexstar has filed a supplement to its waiver request with the FCC pushing for prompt approval of the deal.
    | Tue, Sep. 27, 7:32 PM
  • Tue, Sep. 13, 12:05 PM
    • The FCC is more likely to approve the $4.6B merger of Nexstar Broadcasting (NXST -1.5%) and Media General (MEG -1%) with Justice Dept. antitrust concerns in the rear-view mirror, a source tells CTFN.
    • Georgetown professor Andrew Jay Schwartzman says new FCC rules permitting transferability of joint sales agreements clears the way: "I don’t know but I’m pretty sure that this eliminates most of the obstacles that the FCC is going to have towards approving the Nexstar transaction."
    • The bigger catch is the FCC's dark period for approving deals while the broadcast incentive spectrum auction is under way. Stage 2 of that auction resumes today, but the sale is increasingly likely to last into 2017.
    | Tue, Sep. 13, 12:05 PM
  • Fri, Sep. 2, 11:54 AM
    • Nexstar Broadcast Group (NASDAQ:NXST) has gotten its antitrust approval to buy Media General (NYSE:MEG) for $4.6B.
    • NXST is up 2.1%; MEG is up 1.5% and just pennies off its 52-week high.
    • The Justice Dept. gave its OK today, conditioned on the fact that Nexstar must divest seven stations (in six markets) to upfront buyers that the department has approved. Without such divestitures, Justice says, ad prices and fees charged to MVPDs would increase in those markets.
    • Technically, the DOJ filed a civil antitrust suit simultaneously with a proposed settlement requiring Nexstar to sell WBAY in Green Bay to Gray Television; WSLS in Roanoke-Lynchburg to Graham Holdings; KADN and KLAF in Lafayette to Bayou City Broadcasting Lafayette; STHI in Terre Haute to USA Television MidAmerica Holdings; WFFT in Fort Wayne to USA Television; and KWQC in Quad Cities to Gray.
    • Previously: Nexstar selling two stations to Gray Television for $270M (Jun. 03 2016)
    • Previously: Nexstar divests five stations to aid pursuit of Media General (May. 27 2016)
    | Fri, Sep. 2, 11:54 AM
  • Wed, Aug. 24, 7:50 PM
    • The first benchmark has been hit for closing the FCC's broadcast incentive spectrum auction, but the second benchmark will be a harder task.
    • Bids have reached $16.3B after 15 rounds in the forward auction, which began last week as a second phase following an earlier reverse auction.
    • That's exceeded the $15.9B total the FCC set as the first benchmark for closing -- but the other benchmark is $88.38B, which the FCC needs to pay broadcasters who set that price in the reverse auction as well as cover costs.
    • There's still time, particularly with the price on the blocks rising by 5% a day, John Eggerton notes. But falling short of the $88.38B could mean reopening reverse auction rounds and a completion delayed into next year.
    • Spectrum players: VZ, T, TMUS, S, DISH, SBGI, EVC, CMCSA, CHTR, NXST, CBS, MEG
    | Wed, Aug. 24, 7:50 PM | 66 Comments
  • Tue, Aug. 16, 10:26 AM
    • A major FCC auction of wireless airwaves just entered its second phase.
    • The forward auction in the FCC's broadcast incentive spectrum sale has begun, with Comcast (CMCSA -0.1%) and Dish Network (DISH -0.8%) among those joining the usual spectrum suspects: AT&T (T -0.9%), Verizon (VZ -0.6%), and T-Mobile (TMUS +0.1%), but not Sprint (S +0.4%), which is sitting this out. Of about 100 parties eligible to bid, 62 have been certified by the FCC.
    • That follows the reverse auction, where broadcasters set up blocks of spectrum they'll be selling to be reallocated for wireless carrier use.
    • This phase represents a challenge, now that the reverse auction's price has been set at $86.4B. With costs, the FCC needs to raise $88B; if the forward auction doesn't reach that height, the reverse auction will need to be reopened to lower its price, which would also cut spectrum sold -- and likely drag the entire process into 2017.
    • Broadcast players: SBGI, EVC, NXST, CBS, MEG
    • Previously: Next phase of FCC spectrum auction likely to start mid-July (Jul. 01 2016)
    | Tue, Aug. 16, 10:26 AM | 18 Comments
  • Fri, Aug. 5, 12:35 PM
    • Media General (NYSE:MEG) is up 1.3% despite missing on top and bottom lines in its Q2 earnings report.
    • But EBITDA grew 23% to $111M, beating an expected $105.6M. Revenues grew 13%; 11% excluding political revenue.
    • Digital revenues were up 18% to $43M.
    • It expects Q3 net revenues of $396M-$414M (vs. $409.7M consensus); $47M-$54M in net digital and $349M-$360M in net broadcast. It's forecasting EBITDA of $134M-$146M (vs. $145.3M consensus).
    • “Looking ahead, we feel great about the second half of the year, as our strong news stations benefit from national and local political races," says CEO Vincent Sadusky. "Additionally, the highly viewed Summer Olympics will air on our 13 NBC stations. This is an exciting time as we work towards the consummation of our combination with Nexstar.”
    • Press Release
    | Fri, Aug. 5, 12:35 PM
  • Fri, Aug. 5, 7:31 AM
    • Media General (NYSE:MEG): Q2 EPS of $0.14 misses by $0.02.
    • Revenue of $363M (+13.1% Y/Y) misses by $2M.
    • Press Release
    | Fri, Aug. 5, 7:31 AM
  • Thu, Aug. 4, 5:30 PM
    | Thu, Aug. 4, 5:30 PM | 1 Comment
  • Wed, Jul. 13, 7:20 PM
    • Nexstar Broadcasting (NXST +0.3%) has launched an offering of $900M in debt, to be used for its Media General (MEG -0.6%) merger.
    • Subsidiary Nexstar Escrow will offer up to that amount in new senior notes due 2024, in a private offering.
    • Proceeds will be held in escrow, and will likely be used to help fund the Media General purchase, along with repaying existing credit facilities and existing indebtedness at Media General, along with other fees and expenses tied to the deal.
    • Total debt at last report was $1.51B.
    | Wed, Jul. 13, 7:20 PM
  • Fri, Jul. 1, 3:33 PM
    • The FCC says it will reveal the names of bidders in the forward auction portion of the broadcast incentive spectrum auction, setting the start of the next phase likely in mid-July.
    • There are about 100 parties eligible to bid and they have a payment due by 5 p.m. today, which will validate a final list. A 15-business-day period has to follow public notice of the bidders.
    • The reverse auction concluded this week with the agency needing to raise $88B to cover $86.4B in payments to broadcasters, a sum that could mean changes to the process (including multiple rounds) as the FCC works to scare it up.
    • Spectrum players: VZ, T, TMUS, S, DISH, SBGI, EVC, CMCSA, CHTR, NXST, CBS, MEG
    | Fri, Jul. 1, 3:33 PM | 30 Comments
  • Wed, Jun. 29, 7:45 PM
    • The FCC has set the cost of the spectrum being sold in the broadcast spectrum incentive auction at a whopping $86.4B -- a sum that wireless carriers may balk at.
    • That means that the FCC might have to sell less spectrum than had been expected, or use multiple rounds to settle bidding by broadcasters.
    • The current stage is the reverse auction, where broadcasters bid low to give up their low-band airwaves to the FCC -- and participation has been strong from broadcasters who might have "significantly inflated expectations," says analyst Roger Entner. That's to be followed by a forward auction round of bidding by carriers.
    • A second round of reverse auction with the broadcasters may be needed, which could slow the entire process into 2017.
    • Spectrum players: VZ, T, TMUS, S, DISH, SBGI, EVC, CMCSA, CHTR, NXST, CBS, MEG
    | Wed, Jun. 29, 7:45 PM | 38 Comments
  • Fri, Jun. 3, 10:04 AM
    • Nexstar Broadcasting (NXST -2%) has agreed to divest two stations in two different markets in a $270M sale to Gray Television (GTN -3.1%), part of the shuffles in Nexstar's planned acquisition of Media General (MEG -0.7%).
    • Nexstar is selling WBAY, the ABC affiliate serving Green Bay, Wis., and KWQC, an NBC affiliate serving the Quad Cities area in Iowa (Davenport-Moline-Rock Island) to Gray for $270M in cash.
    • The divestitures are part of Nexstar's efforts to comply with FCC local/national ownership rules in conjunction with its acquisition.
    • The sale of the stations is subject to the completion of the Nexstar/Media General offer as well as FCC approval, expected to come later this year.
    | Fri, Jun. 3, 10:04 AM | 1 Comment
  • Wed, May 25, 3:47 PM
    • A ruling that orders the FCC to update media-ownership rules may play a part in the agency's review of Nexstar Broadcasting's (NXST +0.9%) $4.6B offer for Media General (MEG +0.2%).
    • The issue concerns joint sales agreements that Nexstar doesn't want to dissolve. The company has requested a nine-year waiver on those rules concerning five TV markets, while critics say a long waiver would hinder diversity that is enforced in part by a cap limiting group ownership reach to 39% of TV households.
    • A full change by the FCC may be a while coming, while it finishes the broadcast incentive spectrum auction. Meantime, broadcasters have asked the courts to "wipe all the rules off the books in response."
    • The court said that while the judiciary owes deference to agencies, “we also recognize that ‘at some point, we must lean forward from the bench to let an agency know, in no uncertain terms, that enough is enough.’ ”
    | Wed, May 25, 3:47 PM