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IRVING, TEXAS: Nexstar’s 63 TV stations generated net income of $967,000 on revenues of $73.9 million for the quarter ending Dec. 31, 2009. Nexstar posted a net loss of $18.4 million for the third quarter, and $21.3 million during the fourth quarter of 2008, when the company took a $33.9 million impairment.

“Nexstar generated strong fourth quarter financial results despite the cyclical impact of significantly lower political advertising,” said Nexstar chief Perry Sook. “With the improving economy and the successful execution of our new business development strategies, Nexstar generated a 6 percent year-over-year increase in non-political gross local spot revenue and an 11 percent rise in non-political gross national spot revenue.”

Auto advertising in 4Q09 was down 7.7 percent from the same period a year ago andup 25 percent compared to 3Q09.

Retransmission revenues were $6.4 million, up 62 percent from the year earlier; e-Media revenues rose 19.6 percent to $3.4 million, a record amount for the source. Another $700,000 came from management fee revenue.

Broadcast cash flow totaled $28.8 million compared to $34.7 million a year earlier; adjusted EBITDA totaled $24.7 million compared to $30.3 million. Free cash flow was $13.1 million, compared with $7.4 million.

“With the ad environment improving and auto advertising increasing, Nexstar expects a return to growth in 2010,” Sook said. “Operating results will benefit from increases in overall advertiser spending, the strength of the Super Bowl and Olympic broadcasts, significant political revenue and continued growth of revenue derived from retransmission agreements, e-MEDIA, and management fees.”

Full-year revenues for 2009 were nearly $252 million, compared to $285 million for 2008; net loss was $12.6 million compared to $78 million for 2008.

Total debt at Dec, 31, 2009 was $670.4 million. Consolidated total net debt was $495.7, excluding around $132.3 million in senior subordinated 7 percent payment-in-kind notes as well as approximately $42.4 million in senior subordinated 12 percent PIK notes. As defined in Nexstar’s credit agreement, the company’s total leverage ratio as of Dec. 31, 2009 was 6.8x compared to a total permitted leverage covenant of 8.75x.

More on Nexstar:
November 11, 2009: “Nexstar 3Q Revenues Fall Mostly on Political”
Nexstar’s 63 TV stations generated $60.4 million in the third quarter, down 14 percent from the year-ago period revenues of $70.3 million.

August 25, 2009: “Nexstar Shares Move Most on NASDAQ
Nexstar Broadcasting Group shares jumped more than 60 percent in trading today before settling down to a 40 percent gain at around $2.60.

August 12, 2009: “Nexstar Revenues Drop Less Than Most Broadcasters
Nexstar revenues came in at $62.2 million, down 12 percent from $70.6 million.

May 12, 2009: “Nexstar CFO Resigns
Matthew E. Devine, stepped down as executive vice president and chief financial officer of Nexstar Broadcasting.

April 1, 2009: “Nexstar 4Q Revenues Rise
The 50 or so Nexstar Broadcasting TV stations generated revenues of $80.3 million during the three months ending Dec. 31 2008, up 12 percent from a year earlier.

March 23, 2009: “Nexstar to Manage Four Points TV Stations
Under deal terms, Nexstar receives a management fee of $2 million a year plus annual incentive compensation based on cash flow of the stations.