Saturday, August 21, 2021

Nexstar Media to Acquire D-C Based 'The Hill'

The Hill, a political-news organization known for its inside-the-Beltway coverage, has been sold to Nexstar Media Group Inc. for $130 million, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The deal adds to Nexstar Media Group’s news operations, including NewsNation, formerly WGN America, a national news and entertainment cable network reaching 75 million homes. The Irving, Texas, based Nexstar also owns 199 television stations, 120 local websites and a 31% ownership stake in TV Food Network. Nexstar expects the deal to immediately increase its operating results.

In announcing the deal, Nexstar said The Hill has 48 million average monthly users and had 2.2 billion total pageviews in 2020, citing Comscore.

As part of the deal, The Hill’s previous owner and chairman Jim Finkelstein has left the company—with plans to take on other media ventures. The Hill was founded as a newspaper in 1994 by Mr. Finkelstein’s father, Democratic power broker and former journalist Jerry Finkelstein, and Martin Tolchin, a former correspondent for the New York Times.

Finkelstein plans to take a day or so off and then look for a well-established brand of publications with a digital focus, he said in an interview Friday.

The Hill will join Irving-based Nexstar’s network of 199 local TV stations in 116 U.S. markets that reach 39% of American households. The company also recently acquired product review site BestReviews from Tribune Publishing for $160 million. In 2020, it launched a nightly prime-time news show on WGN America called NewsNation that reaches 75 million U.S. homes.

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