Meredith Reports Strong First Quarter Earnings Growth
"At Meredith, we continue to deliver strong advertising revenue growth, including the development and successful execution of innovative sales programs targeting non-traditional local television advertisers," Lacy said. "Local broadcast television remains the most effective way for advertisers to efficiently reach large consumer audiences and drive them to retail."
Meredith delivered strong ratings during the most recent July measurement period. Meredith's CBS affiliate in Hartford was once again No. 1 in all newscasts, as well as sign-on to sign-off. The NBC affiliate in Nashville was No. 2 in both late news and sign-on to sign-off, and also posted growth in morning news, while CBS affiliates in Atlanta and Phoenix, and Fox affiliates in Greenville and Las Vegas, all grew evening news viewers.
Meredith Video Studios fiscal 2011 first quarter revenues also grew as the daily Better syndicated television show increased its carriage to approximately 80 markets reaching nearly 60 percent of U.S. TV households. In November, Better will launch on KCAL in Los Angeles - the nation's second-largest television market—giving the show a presence in four of the top five markets in the country.
National Media Group Sees Circ Drop, Slight Profit Rise
Fiscal 2011 first quarter National Media Group operating profit rose slightly from the year-ago period to $39 million. Revenues were $268 million, compared to $272 million in the year-ago period.
Total advertising revenues were $136 million, approximately even with the year-ago period, on higher net advertising revenue per magazine page. Meredith was cycling against its strongest quarter of industry outperformance (nearly 30 percentage points) in the prior-year period, according to Publishers Information Bureau data. Online advertising revenues increased 21 percent, led by growth in the pharmaceutical, consumer packaged goods and retail categories.
Circulation revenues declined 4 percent in the first quarter of fiscal 2011, as expected, due primarily to Meredith's strategic decision in January 2010 to reposition its Special Interest Media business. Special Interest Media profit increased significantly in the quarter over the year-ago period as a result of the repositioning.