DES MOINES, Iowa—Meredith is making salary cuts for executives, officers and employees, as well as reductions for Board of Directors fees, as an operational cost-control measure due to the impact of the coronavirus.
The reason for the cuts, according to a company press release, is because of the lost revenue from advertising during this period.
“[T]he COVID-19 crisis has created an extremely challenging business environment, including significant advertising campaign cancellations and delays,” said Tom Harty, Meredith president and CEO. “While our financial position is strong, given the impact on advertising—which represents approximately half of our revenue mix—we are proactively taking aggressive actions to strengthen our liquidity and enhance our financial flexibility in the near-term to effectively navigate the current environment.”
Even as ad revenues are down, Meredith says that viewership for its local TV stations have seen increases of 15-40% for morning, evening and late newscasts.
Meredith has taken additional steps to help its business during the pandemic. It has announced a pause to its common stock dividend, the withdrawal of its guidance and assumptions for its fiscal 2020 performance and to make “significant” reductions in capital expenditures.
“While this is currently a difficult time for our employees and shareholders alike, as a Board we believe these actions are important to best position Meredith for future success,” said Board Vice Chairman Mell Meredith Frazier. “Together, we will weather this difficult period as we have during other times in our 118-year history, and emerge as an even stronger company that we can continue to be proud of.”
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