Michelle Clancy ©RapidTVNews | 22-07-2011

Texas-based Nexstar Broadcasting, which runs TV stations in 36 markets, has not turned a profit in 12 years but could still sell for more than $1 billion, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing unnamed sources.

Nexstar's total debt was $627 million as of the first quarter of the year. It has been amassing debt in chucks, most notably $100 million added in 2002 and $78 million in 2008, when television advertising revenue took a dive in the face of the recession in the United States.

Founded by Chairman and CEO Perry Sook in 1996, Nexstar has ben up for sale before, in 2007. There were no takers. It went public in 2003.

Is the $1 billion justified? Some say yes. The company owns, operates, programs or provides services to 65 stations and related digital signals in 16 states. It reaches about 13.5 million viewers, or roughly 11.6 percent of all U.S. television households. The stations are affiliates of NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, MyNetworkTV, The CW, LATV, TV Azteca and Telemundo. And, the company's 35 community portal Websites offer additional hyper-local content and verticals for consumers and advertisers.