Political digital media company The Hill has been acquired by Nexstar Media, a broadcast TV and internet media company, for $130 million.
Nexstar, which operates TV stations in 116 markets and 120 local websites, said the acquisition of The Hill would be immediately accretive to its operating results. Nexstar’s Networks Division operates NewsNation (formerly WGN America), a national news and entertainment cable network reaching 75 million homes, as well as multicast network Antenna TV and WGN Radio in Chicago.
The deal reinforces Nexstar’s content strategy focused primarily on news, according to Tom Carter, Nexstar president and COO.
“The Hill has a nationally recognized brand known for delivering balanced political reporting, as well as authentic opinions and perspectives, and is highly complementary to Nexstar’s national cable news network, NewsNation,” Carter said in announcing the deal.
In 2020, The Hill had 48 million average monthly users and 2.2 billion total pageviews, according to Comscore, while Nexstar’s digital properties averaged monthly 91 million users and delivered 7.8 billion pageviews for the year. According to Nexstar, The Hill and Nexstar combined reach one-third of all U.S. digital media consumers.
The Hill brings more than 100 political journalists to Nexstar, whose NewsNation and local news operations employ some 5,500 journalists who produce more than 275,000 hours of local and national news annually.
The Hill was founded as a newspaper in 1994 by Democratic operative Jerry Finkelstein and Martin Tolchin, a former New York Times correspondent. HRS Management, the private investment office of Josh Harris, co-founder of Apollo Global Management, is the largest investor in The Hill.
Finkelstein, chairman of The Hill, said in a prepared statement, “It has been an honor to lead and transform The Hill into the premier news outlet that it is today. With the help of HRS Management, we have substantially grown the business and audience. We are confident that Nexstar will continue to accelerate this tremendous growth.”
Bret Pearlman, head of private investments for HRS Management, commented, “We are pleased to have been investors in The Hill and partners with Mr. Finkelstein for the past five years as he and the company’s management team transformed the business into a digital media powerhouse. With a strong foundation in place and unique offering in the market, we are confident that the future of the company is extremely bright.”