TV growing faster than magazines at Meredith


Meredith reported advertising revenue growth for both its magazines and TV group in its fiscal Q3 (January-March), but TV was much stronger than the magazine group. Look for that to continue in the current quarter.

TV revenues were up 20% to $69 million, with non-political ad revenues up 16%. In his quarterly conference call with Wall Street analysts, CEO Steve Lacy noted proudly that each and every one of the company’s 10 TV markets had an up quarter, with the strongest performance in Atlanta, Phoenix and Hartford. The ad sales growth was led by the automotive, professional services and retail sectors.

Also for the quarter, retransmission consent revenues were up nearly 15%.

Operating profit for the TV group was $13 million for the quarter, a sharp rise from only $1 million a year earlier.

Meanwhile, magazine revenues rose 2% to $285 million, with ad revenues up 4% to $137 million. Operating profit for the magazine division rose 6% to $51 million.

For the current quarter, Meredith is telling Wall Street to expect total ad revenues to be up 7-8%. Non-political ad revenues for the TV group are currently pacing up in the high teens. Also, political is expected to bring in $2-3 million for the quarter. Magazine revenues are expected to be flat to up slightly.