That’s a wrap for Media General: Nexstar Broadcasting completed its $4.6 billion cash-and-stock acquisition of the TV station owner today, just 10 days shy of the one-year anniversary of when they announced the deal.
Nexstar — now calling itself Nexstar Media Group — also announced that it fulfilled terms of an agreement with Justice Department antitrust officials by selling 13 TV stations, for which it will collect $548 million.
The company is now the No. 2 independent station owner, with 171 full-power outlets in 100 markets, including 15 of the top 50. The group reaches nearly 39% of U.S. households.
Nexstar Media Group adds that it has identified additional synergies in the merger plan. As a result, it lifted its forecast for the free cash flow it expects to see in its 2016-17 cycle to $565 million from its previous guidance for $540 million.
The improved numbers leave Nexstar “extremely well positioned to immediately reduce leverage, evaluate additional accretive strategic growth investments and expand our return of capital to shareholders,” CEO Perry Sook says.
He also vows to “create news bureaus in more state capitals than any other broadcaster” and produce more than 3,500 hours a week of local news, providing nearly 10,000 jobs. “The focus of our corporate, station-level and digital teams on local leadership, local vision and local targeting is the foundation of our positive near- and long-term financial outlook.”