Meredith Corp.’s revenues were basically flat in the first quarter of the year, with the national magazine publishing division holding steady, local TV up slightly (excluding political
advertising), and strong results from its brand licensing and marketing services businesses.
Total revenues slipped 2% from $360.6 million to $354 million.
Revenues at the
national magazine publishing division were flat at $249.7 million, with advertising declining from $120.1 million to $114.5 million, circulation flat at $67.7 million, and a boost from
“other” revenues, which increased 8.9% from $61.9 million to $67.4 million.
Meredith cited growing interest in the Meredith Sales Guarantee program, which matches consumption
data with magazine readership to quantify sales lift, with ROI guarantees.
The company's local media business, centered on its local broadcast TV stations, suffered a cyclical
year-over-year decline, due to the absence of political advertising associated with the 2012 elections. Total non-political advertising revenues increased 9.8% from $71.3 million to $78.3 million,
while “other” revenues jumped 79% from $14.2 million to $25.4 million, due partly to retransmission revenues.
However, the absence of political advertising left
Meredith’s total local revenues down 6.1% from $111.2 million to $104.4 million. The company is moving to expand its local TV portfolio, with the acquisition of KTVK and KASW in Phoenix and KMOV
in St. Louis.
Meredith’s brand licensing revenues increased over 30%, due primarily to strong results from its Better Homes and Gardens licensed products, sold at Walmart
stores. Meredith Xcelerated Marketing, the company’s marketing services group, also posted revenue gains, thanks in part, to new and expanded programs with clients including Kia Motors, Mercer,
Chrysler and Maserati.