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Meredith Broadcast Revenue Down 9%

Meredith reported fiscal first quarter broadcast revenue of $69 million, down 9% from the same quarter a year ago. Operating profit for the Local Media Group was $11 million, down from $17 million a year ago. Meredith stations recorded approximately $11 million less of political advertising revenues in the first quarter of fiscal 2012.

Core revenues rose 3% to $59 million, the eighth-consecutive quarter of year-over-year improvement. Performance was strongest at Meredith's stations in Portland, Hartford/Springfield and Las Vegas.

"Fiscal 2012 is off to a solid start," said Meredith Chairman/CEO Stephen M. Lacy. "We continue to be highly confident in the strength of Meredith's diversified business model, and our ability to generate significant and sustainable free cash flow from our assets by leveraging the strength of our brands."

Automotive advertising at the stations increased 4%, on top of 40% growth in the prior year quarter. Digital revenues increased more than 25%.

Meredith also saw revenue gains from its management of WPCH Atlanta (Peachtree TV), which began March 28.

"We were able to leverage our strong news ratings to drive advertising growth across our largest categories and markets, and once again prove local television's unique power to drive consumers to retail," Lacy said.

Meredith's National Media Group, which includes its stable of magazines, showed an operating profit of $36 million, compared to $40 million in the prior-year period. Revenues were $259 million, compared to $267 million.

Meredith said Local Media Group non-political advertising revenues are pacing up in the mid single-digit range for the fiscal second quarter.