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Newsmax reveals plan to list on Wall Street

The right-of-center news and political affairs network seeks to raise as much as $75 million through an initial public offering.

The right-of-center news and political affairs network seeks to raise as much as $75 million through an initial public offering.

Newsmax commentators discuss the verdict in the Hunter Biden trial in 2024. (Still frame via broadcast)
Newsmax commentators discuss the verdict in the Hunter Biden trial in 2024. (Still frame via broadcast)

Florida-based news channel Newsmax is readying plans for an initial public offering (IPO) that would convert the privately-held media brand into a publicly-traded company.

According to an investor presentation published on the Newsmax website and a subsequent announcement on the television channel itself, the network says it is looking to list on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) or the technology-heavy Nasdaq.

A public listing on either exchange would allow institutional and retail investors alike to buy and sell shares of the company. Newsmax is hoping to raise as much as $75 million through a listing in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2024.

Prior to its listing, Newsmax is looking to raise a subsequent round through private investment solicitations that could earn the media company up to $225 million. The company is offering as much as 30,000 convertible shares priced at $5,000 with the goal of raising the money in its pre-IPO stage. Before it can solicit buyers, it must first file plans with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which Newsmax says it intends to do in the near future.

Newsmax often promotes itself as one of the fastest-growing news and political affairs channels on cable television, where several of its programs are listed among the top 100 cable news shows as determined by Nielsen rankings.

The channel still lags behind the cable news industry’s three main channels — Fox News, MSNBC and CNN — though it often has higher ratings on a per-program basis when compared to shows airing on NewsNation, Bloomberg and the C-SPAN multiplex of networks, the latter of which is measured by Comscore.

For much of the channel’s history, Newsmax was available as a free, ad-supported streaming network, widely distributed across free platforms like Paramount Global’s Pluto TV and Comcast’s Xumo Play, as well as through the standalone Newsmax website and apps. That changed last year when Newsmax began aggressively pursuing retransmission consent fees from cable and satellite providers in exchange for distribution of its network. Newsmax was dropped from DirecTV for several months after requesting distribution fees, though an agreement was eventually reached to restore the network. Newsmax ended its streaming simulcast a short time later, replacing it with Newsmax 2, which offers replays of some Newsmax shows a short time after they air on cable.

Less clear is how much Newsmax earns from advertising and retransmission consent fees, though it is likely far less than what other cable news channels like Fox and CNN bring in. The actual amount earned from advertising and distribution is likely to be learned a short time after Newsmax lists on a public exchange, as it will be required to file quarterly earnings reports with the SEC that will be distributed to investors and available through public databases.

Through its cable and satellite partners, Newsmax says it reaches more than 40 million American households. The channel is carried nationally on Dish Network and DirecTV, and is available on Comcast’s Xfinity TV, Charter’s Spectrum TV, Optimum, Verizon Fios, Cox Cable, U-verse, Wow!, Armstrong and Suddenlink, among others.

In an interview on his own channel, Newsmax co-founder and CEO Christopher Ruddy said the news outlet has experienced a 300 percent lift in revenue over the past 4-5 years.

“That’s a pretty significant increase when most businesses just go up 3 to 5 percent,” Ruddy said.

Ruddy compared Newsmax to former President Donald Trump’s media company, Truth Social, asserting Trump’s media venture was “successful.” Last month, Truth Social’s parent company, Trump Media & Technology Group, reported the company lost $328 million during the first three months of the year, having earned just $770,000 in revenue, primarily from advertising. Executives say much of TMTG’s financial loss was attributed to development and marketing associated with Truth Social and other media products that are launching soon.

In a story about its forthcoming IPO, Newsmax made more comparisons to Trump’s media property, saying it “reported revenues of over $4 million” and “holds a market valuation of over $7 billion today.” That valuation was based on the price of each share of TMTG last month, at the time the company disclosed its financial earnings for the first quarter of 2024. The per-share price of TMTG has increased 134 percent since January 1, according to historical and current financial data reviewed by The Desk this week.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 11 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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