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Meredith Station Revenue Down 6.5%

Meredith Local Media reported fiscal second quarter revenues of $104.4 million, down 6.5% from the same quarter a year ago. The station group’s operating profit was $35 million, compared to $45 million in the prior-year period. Meredith recorded $25 million less of political advertising revenues in the second quarter of fiscal 2014 than in the prior-year period, but grew non-political advertising revenues 10%.

"We were pleased to generate record non-political performance in the first half of fiscal 2014," said Meredith Local Media Group President Paul Karpowicz (pictured).  "We continue to consistently deliver great programming for our viewers and outstanding results at retail for our advertising clients."

On Dec. 23, 2013, Meredith agreed to purchase KTVK-KASW in Phoenix and KMOV in St. Louis. Meredith anticipates the transactions will close in the second half of fiscal 2014. Karpowicz called them “terrific” additions: "The markets are growing and they are located in states with significant political advertising.”

Total company revenues were $354 million, compared to $361 million in the previous second quarter. Meredith’s fiscal 2014 second quarter National Media Group operating profit grew 27% to $28 million, compared to the prior-year period. 

“We continued our strong performance into the second quarter of fiscal 2014," said Meredith chairman and CEO Stephen M. Lacy. "Our National Media Group delivered revenue and profit growth in the quarter, while our Local Media Group achieved record revenue and profit performance for a non-political fiscal second quarter and first half. Importantly, we continue to execute strategic initiatives to deliver increased cash flow and returns to our shareholders over time, most recently through the announced acquisition of great television assets in attractive markets.” 

Meredith expects total company revenues to be flat to down slightly in the fiscal third quarter, with Local Media Group revenues up in the mid to high single digits.

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.