In a vote that is directly tied to the company’s acquisition of Time Inc., the Board of Directors of Des Moines-based Meredith Corp. has elected Steve Lacy as Executive Chairman and Tom Harty as President/CEO.
The elevation of Lacy and Harty from Chairman/CEO and President/COO, respectively, is scheduled for Thursday (2/1).
In his new role, Lacy will work with Harty to determine Meredith’s strategic agenda; continue to represent Meredith to the investment and financial communities; lead all board activities; and play a greater role in media industry association activities, particularly legislative initiatives.
Harty will continue to lead Meredith’s National and Local Media Groups, which include its 17 television stations, while directing the integration of the Time Inc. acquisition.
Harty will also take on responsibilities for Meredith’s Finance and Legal functions, which are led by CFO Joe Ceryanec and Chief Development Officer/General Counsel John Zieser, respectively.
Meredith has secured regulatory approvals and completed all financing requirements following its Nov. 26, 2017, announcement that it is buying Time Inc., and the transaction is expected to close later this week.
The move is poised to make Meredith “a Top 10 digital player in the media space with 170 million monthly unique visitors and $700 million of digital advertising revenues.”
Aside from its 17 TV stations, Meredith has made its mark as a leading glossy and digital destination for women; it is the parent of Better Homes and Gardens and several other female-targeted lifestyle brands.
“This is a pivotal time for Meredith Corp. and our board believes we have the right leadership team and a well-defined plan to successfully integrate the Time Inc. acquisition and increase shareholder value,” said Mell Meredith, Vice Chair of the Meredith Board of Directors. “Steve and Tom have outstanding track records of achieving acquisition goals and growing Total Shareholder Return over time – and together with the best employees in the media industry – I am extremely confident in their ability to deliver for all our stakeholders, including consumers, advertisers, investors and employees alike.”
Lacy said, “These new roles are the next phase in a well-planned succession process that began when Tom was promoted to President/COO in 2016. He has done an excellent job leading our operating groups, including a major role in our acquisition of Time Inc.”
Harty added, “Here at Meredith, we are well-known for a collaborative culture that is highly effective in the marketplace. With our tremendous media portfolio – bolstered by the acquisition of the Time Inc. brands – we are extremely well-positioned to continue expanding our connection to consumers and helping advertisers who want to reach them.”
Lacy joined Meredith in 1998 as CFO and was promoted to National Media Group President in 2000. He ascended to the role of President/CEO in 2006 and became Chairman/CEO in 2010.