Broadcasting Revenues Dip 9.2 Percent at Meredith

April 25, 2008
Meredith Corp. reported a dip in broadcast revenues and a 9.2 percent drop in broadcasting profits. But management says the company has the core brands and new initiatives to outlast the economic slowdown.

“We strongly believe these trends are cyclical in nature and not structural,” Meredith President and CEO Stephen M. Lacy said in a conference call with investors.

Fiscal third quarter (ending March 31) broadcasting operating profit was $19 million, down from $21 million in the prior-year quarter. Revenues were $78 million, down slightly from the prior-year quarter.

Growth in online, video, retransmission and political revenues offset weakness in spot television advertising, particularly in the automotive, retail and telecommunications categories, the company said in a statement.

Meredith’s main business, publishing aimed at American women aged 25-54, did better, with profits ($65 million) and revenues ($323 million) about the same as the year-ago quarter.

Meredith’s third quarter net earnings were 97 cents per share, up from 92 cents in the prior-year quarter. Total revenues were $401 million, approximately even with the prior-year quarter.

The company touted new relationships and branding and marketing initiatives it said will help increase non-ad-related revenue.

Political advertising in 2008 has been “spotty to date,” said Paul Karpowicz, president of Meredith Broadcasting Group.

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