That rumbling you hear is the earth shaking a little bit as Nexstar stock rocketed upward Wednesday on reports that it may be the target of a buyout effort.
Reuters reported that private equity firm Apollo Global Management had approached the second largest broadcast station owner in the country about a possible buyout.
Citing as its sources people said to be familiar with the matter, Reuters reported that Apollo has paired up with P2 Capital Partners, an investment first that already owns a small stake in Nexstar, to work out a deal for the broadcaster.
So far, there have been no formal talks with the suits in Irving.
And so far, no one is commenting on the Reuters report.
But Nexstar is in a highly-leveraged position, coming off the relatively recent $2.3 billion purchase of Media General.
Nexstar’s 169 stations are affiliated with all four major broadcast networks – CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox – and are located in some of the largest markets in the country.
Having been on the inside as an employee in three different markets when these kinds of deals went down in the past, we can tell you this does not bode well for the people on the front line – the people who actually make the sausage that the execs sell.
It’s a mantra – more work, fewer resources, lower pay and when investment firms get involved it’s even worse.
They have no interest in broadcasting – their interest is is maximizing the dollars they can wring out of the properties they acquire.
That usually means strip and flip.
It’s a great business.