Meredith Magazine, TV Revs Slip

The recovery in consumer magazines is proving to be somewhat uneven, as Meredith Corp., a leading women's interest publisher and broadcast TV station owner, reported that total revenues slipped 3.4% to $341 million in the first quarter of 2011.

This was attributed to lower ad revenues at its national media group, which includes Meredith's major magazine brands. The decline was offset somewhat by increases at the company's local media group (representing its broadcast TV properties), as well as its integrated marketing and brand licensing divisions, which are also counted as part of the national media group.

Meredith's total ad revenues, across all its divisions, fell 6.7% to $185.9 million. Total revenues at the national media group declined 5.3% to $270 million in the first quarter of 2011, reflecting an 11% drop in ad revenues to $122 million. Meredith executives attributed the decline to weakness in key categories, including food and beverage, DTC and non-DTC pharmaceuticals, and home furnishings -- all categories where the publisher over-indexes compared to the rest of the magazine industry.



Meredith's local media group, representing broadcast TV properties, saw total revenues increase 3.2% to $71 million, with non-political advertising revenues growing 5% to $64 million. This was due to increases in eight out of 10 major ad categories, led by automotive, retail and media.

Brand licensing revenues, which are included in the national media group, grew 15%, while the integrated marketing division saw revenues rise 8%. Meredith didn't provide specific dollar figures for either of these subdivisions within the national media group.

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