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Meredith to Take $5.5 Million Charge

DES MOINES, IOWA: Meredith Corp. intends to take a $5.5 million charge in its fiscal second quarter of 2010, the company said today. The charge will amount to around $3.5 million, or 7 cents a share, after taxes. It will cover severance, creative and distribution costs related to a repositioning of its Special Interest Media business. The division includes nearly 150 magazines focused on health, home decorating, do-it-yourself projects and the like. Titles include “Diabetic Living,” “Nature’s Garden,” “Decorating,” and others.

“The recessionary economy has impacted the consumer's ability to execute these types of projects and led to a decrease in advertising spending,” said Meredith president and CEO, Stephen M. Lacy. “As a result, we are repositioning our SIM portfolio to focus on certain home and food verticals, in particular those aligned with the ‘Better Homes and Gardens’ brand. We continue to believe in the long-term viability of this business and believe this strategy will deliver substantially higher profitability going forward.”

Meredith will hone the number of SIM publications down to 90 as of next year, it said. About 45 jobs will be cut as a result.

Print provides the largest chunk of Meredith’s revenues. It’s 12 TV stations brought in $61 million during its first fiscal quarter of 2010, or around 18 percent of total revenues. Meredith said it “will provide an update on the current advertising environment and its earnings outlook when it releases fiscal 2010 second-quarter earnings on Jan. 21, 2010.”

More on Meredith:
October 29, 2009: Meredith Stations Down on Political and Auto
Fiscal 2010 first-quarter revenues for Meredith’s 12 TV stations came in at $61 million, down from $70 million last year.

July 29, 2009
: “Meredith Fiscal 4Q TV Revenues Drop 21 Percent
Shares of Meredith Corp. slipped this morning on the company’s reported loss of $3.64 a share for its fiscal fourth quarter and $2.28 for its fiscal year ending June 30.

May 15, 2009:Meredith Declares Dividend
Meredith Corp. declared a dividend Wednesday of 22.5 cents a share.

January 21, 2009: Meredith 2Q Station Revenue Down 20 Percent
The company’s 12 TV stations generated $84 million in the quarter compared to $88 million a year ago.

November 24, 2008: Meredith TV Station Earnings Down
The 12 Meredith Corp. stations generated $70 million in revenue for the company’s first quarter of fiscal 2009 compared to $75 million a year ago.