Retrans, Ads Send Meredith TV Revs Soaring 14.5%

Strong core TV station advertising revenue as well as higher retrans fees-related revenues helped contribute to double-digit gains for Meredith Corp.'s Local Media Group, its television stations and a video content creation group during its fiscal 2014 third-quarter period.

Revenues improved 14.5% to $98 million. There was a 5.6% increase non-political advertising revenues to $69.8 million, as well as a 49.9% rise in political advertising revenues and a 44.9% increase in other revenues to $27.4 million. Higher retransmission-related revenues and strong performance were gained at television stations in Nashville, Phoenix and Las Vegas.

Significant non-political advertising revenue gains came from home and retail categories. In addition, Meredith says results were reflective of one month of operations of KMOV St. Louis, which it acquired on Feb. 28. The TV group’s digital advertising revenues climbed 27%.

Looking forward, Stephen M. Lacy, chairman, chief executive officer and president of Meredith Corp., said in a call with industry analysts: “We are experiencing a much more positive advertising trend as we enter the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014. Our local television advertising business is pacing up, demand for our digital inventory is strong and declines in magazine advertising are moderating... We also expect a significant increase in television advertising from the midterm elections this coming fall.”

With regard to its print businesses, Meredith said its National Media Group had mixed results, with a 5.1% drop to $269.7 million. This came from a 13.1% decline in advertising revenues to $111.8 million. Meredith said three categories -- food, beauty and financial services -- were responsible for more than 75% of Meredith’s total advertising decline.

Total revenue at the company slipped 0.6% year-over-year to $367.4 million -- largely due to a 6.7% decline in advertising revenues to $182.2 million. But magazine circulation was up 5.1% to $96.1 million, and there was a 7.5% increase in other revenues to $89.2 million.
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