Television revenues up 23.4% for Meredith


Fiscal Q4 (April-June) capped off the reporting year for Meredith Corporation with growth across the company, but led by its Local Media Group, which is what the company calls its 12-station TV group. TV revenues shot up 23.4% in the quarter to $77.1 million.

Political was an important factor, of course, increasing by 900% to $3.9 million. But non-political advertising was up 15.5% to $64 million. Other revenues, including retransmission consent payments, jumped 38.2% to $9.3 million. Adjusted EBITDA for the Local Media Group ballooned 213.4% to $26.9 million.

“The significantly improved results in non-political advertising revenues in our Local Media business in fiscal 2010, driven largely by automotive category spending, demonstrate the appeal that broadcast television has for advertisers due to its unparalleled reach and effectiveness. There simply is no more powerful media platform that drives consumers to retail outlets than local broadcast television,” said Meredith CEO Steve Lacy.

Local Media Group revenues for the entire fiscal year were up 3% to $282 million. That was despite the fact that the previous fiscal year had included the lion’s share of calendar 2008 election spending and political spending was $14 million less in the just-completed fiscal year.

Retransmission fees were up 40% for the fiscal year and 16% in the final quarter.

On the magazine side, called the National Media Group at Meredith, fiscal Q4 revenues were up 1.6% to $288 million, though down slightly for the year. Fiscal Q4 ad revenues gained 0.7% to $134.5 million. Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter rose 0.4% to $49.8 million.

RBR-TVBR observation: You have to like the mix of businesses at Meredith. While newspapers and general interest magazines continue to be slammed, Meredith’s magazines held up pretty well with their niche focus on American women. The company is now claiming a record 12.3% of US magazine industry revenues. Meanwhile, the TV business is roaring back.