Meredith Corp. Revs Drop, But Digital Up At National Media Group

Meredith Corp reported its Q1 2020 results this week, showing a drop in total company revenues and earnings, but bright spots within its National Media Group.

Total company revenues from continuing operations was $725 million, compared to $774 million last year. Earnings clocked in at $12 million, compared to last year’s $16 million.

Meredith Corp’s digital advertising revenues hit a fiscal first-quarter record, with digital advertising at the National Media Group accounting for 34% of the group’s total advertising revenues, a 30% increase from the prior year.

At the company’s National Media Group, operating profit increased to $28 million, a 55% jump.

Total advertising revenues were down by mid-single digits at $271 million, with print advertising revenues falling in the low-teens. The dip is due, in part, to changes in the Meredith Corp print portfolio, which transitioned Coastal Living and Traditional Home to premium newsstand titles, merged Cooking Light into EatingWell and closed Money and Martha Stewart Weddings.

Rachael Ray Every Day will become a premium newsstand title published on a quarterly basis in January 2020.

While print advertising performance fell in the mid-single digits, EatingWellSouthern LivingReal Simple and InStyle all saw print advertising growth.

Digital advertising grew by 8%. The company reports this is due to Meredith’s programmatic platform.

The portfolio changes at the National Media Group led to consumer-related revenues of $244 million, compared to $254 million last year. 

Expenses declined by 7%, due to realized savings related to the Time Inc. acquisition and expense discipline.

Meredith Corporation President-CEO Tom Harty stated: “We are currently forecasting year-over-year growth in comparable print advertising revenues for the second quarter of fiscal 2020. At the same time, we continue to innovate, be it launching a new title based on the Property Brothers; repositioning popular brands as consumer-driven newsstand products; or creating sophisticated targeted digital advertising programs for clients. 

"Additionally, we are driving growth in our consumer-driven business lines, particularly ecommerce and performance marketing, key pieces of our revenue diversification strategy."

Earlier this week, Meredith Corp sold its equity in Viant Technology Holding. Viant was acquired by Meredith Corp in the Time Inc. deal. The sale did not include Meredith’s ownership stake in Xuma JV Holdings LLC.

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