That changes to a 3% increase when political is factored out. Automotive gained 4% in the quarter, while digital revenue was up over 25%.
Meredith Corp. today reported fiscal 2012 first quarter results that included total revenues at its local media group of $69 million, down 9.3% from $76 million in the same quarter a year earlier. Meredith recorded approximately $11 million less of political advertising revenues in the first quarter of fiscal 2012.
Operating profit was $11 million, compared to $17 million in the prior-year period.
Looking more closely at non-political advertising performance in the first quarter of fiscal 2012, compared to the prior-year period:
- Revenues rose 3% to $59 million, the eighth-consecutive quarter of year-over-year improvement. Performance was strongest at Meredith’s stations in Portland, Ore.; Hartford, Conn.; and Las Vegas.
- Automotive increased 4%, on top of 40% growth in the prior year quarter.
- All of Meredith’s five-largest categories grew revenues.
- Digital revenues increased more than 25%.
- Meredith outperformed the industry as a whole, according to Television Bureau of Advertising data.
“We were able to leverage our strong news ratings to drive advertising growth across our largest categories and markets, and once again prove local television’s unique power to drive consumers to retail,” said Meredith Chairman-CEO Stephen M. Lacy.
The Local Media Group also continued to strengthen it “Other Revenues” category — up 40% — during the first quarter of fiscal 2012. The increase reflected Meredith’s management of Peachtree TV (WPCH) in Atlanta, which began on March 28, 2011. This strategic partnership provides Meredith access to a larger share of the growing Atlanta advertising marketplace; an expanded lineup of sports programming; and increased inventory.
Additionally, Meredith Video Studios posted solid revenue growth. During the quarter, the daily Better syndicated television show increased its carriage to approximately 140 markets reaching more than 80 percent of U.S. television households. In September, Better launched in New York and it now airs in nine of the country’s Top 10 markets.
Read the company’s report here.