Meredith TV Revenue Up 50%
Meredith reported local media revenue of $157 million in the fiscal second quarter, up 50% from the previous second quarter. Local Media Group operating profit and EBITDA also set records, growing more than 60% each to $60 million and $70 million, respectively. Growth was spurred by the addition of KMOV St. Louis, KTVK Phoenix and WGGB Springfield (Mass.) to the group, along with record political advertising and higher retransmission contribution.
Total revenues rose 13% to $399 million, including 25% growth in advertising revenues. "We continued our strong momentum in the second quarter of fiscal 2015, again delivering higher cash flow and returns to our shareholders," said Meredith chairman and CEO Stephen M. Lacy. "Advertising trends strengthened, our recent acquisitions are performing above expectations, and our brands are stronger than ever with consumers across our media platforms and at retail."
Television’s total advertising revenues increased 58% to $125 million, an all-time quarterly record. On Dec. 19, 2014, Meredith completed the acquisition of WALA, the Fox affiliate in Mobile-Pensacola, for $86 million. On Oct. 31, 2014, Meredith completed the acquisition of WGGB for $53 million.
"Our television expansion strategy is producing strong revenue and profit growth," said Meredith Local Media Group president Paul Karpowicz. "We will continue to look for opportunities to strategically add to our broadcasting portfolio, as well as drive growth through increased advertising and retransmission revenues."
National Media Group, including Meredith’s magazines, showed operating profit in the quarter of $26 million. Excluding special charges, operating profit grew 7% to $30 million. Revenues were $242 million.
Meredith expects total company revenues to be up high-single digits in the fiscal third quarter, with Local Media Group revenues up 25 to 30% and National Media Group up in the low single digits.
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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.
By David Bloom