The planned merger between Meredith Corp. and Media General is kaput, following Meredith’s agreement to terminate the deal in return for a cash payment. Media General to proceed with a separate deal that will see it acquired by Nexstar.
As part of the deal (or more properly, a deal for a non-deal) Media General is paying Meredith $60 million in cash in return for being released from its obligations in their unfulfilled contract.
It’s worth noting that per their agreement to cancel the agreement, Meredith retains the right to bid for certain broadcast and digital properties owned by Media General, leaving the door open for more local TV stations to trade hands.
These deals could benefit both partners – helping to clear the way for regulatory approval of the merger, which will create one of the biggest broadcast TV groups in the country, with 171 stations in 100 markets nationwide.
This week, Meredith also announced the results for the fourth quarter of 2015, the company’s second fiscal quarter. Total revenues were up 1.9% from $398.9 million to $406.4 million, due mostly to an 11.6% increase in circulation revenues from $59.5 million to $66.4 million.
That reflects the addition of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia’s publications under a long-term licensing deal. Advertising revenue was basically flat at $241.6 million.Meredith’s national media group, which includes its consumer magazines, led the way with a 9.9% increase in total revenues from $242.4 million to $266.5 million, again reflecting the MSLO addition. This offset a 10.7% drop in local media (broadcast TV) revenues from $156.5 million to $139.9 million, due to the absence of election year advertising.