Non-political revenue was up at the local media wing of Meredith Corporation during its fiscal Q1 2014, and total revenue was also up despite the usual decline in political income. Increased retransmission income helped ease the political shortfall.
The increase in non-political was 3% to $64M, attributed in part to strong performances in Phoenix, Kansas City and Portland and robust sales in the automotive, telecommunications and food categories
Total revenue was also up 3% to $90M, as retransmission income helped make up for a loss of about $11.5M in political income.
Unfortunately, the black ink supply was not depleted when it comes to operating profit and EBITDA – for the local media group, the former fell from $27.6M to $25.7M and the latter from $33.7M to $32.1M.
Meredith was encouraged by its kick-off into 2014. “We’re off to a strong start in fiscal 2014,” said Meredith Chairman/CEO Stephen M. Lacy. “Our Local Media Group achieved record revenue and profit performance for a non-political first quarter, with solid growth in non-political advertising. The National Media Group delivered growth in advertising, circulation and licensing revenues. Our digital businesses continued their strong growth pattern, posting record revenue performance for a fiscal first quarter.”
The local group was also encouraged. “Our record revenue performance – achieved in a non-political quarter – speaks to the fundamental strength of our television broadcasting business,” said Local Media Group President Paul Karpowicz. “We continue to engage viewers and successfully monetize the strength of our audience.”