The company attributes the growth to contributions from recent acquisitions (KMOV St. Louis and KTVK Phoenix), record political advertising and a 22% jump in core (non-political) revenue boosted by strong digital and retrans performance.
Meredith Corp.’s Local Media Group of 17 television stations generated $157 million in total revenue in its second quarter of fiscal 2015, up 50% from the same period a year ago.
The company said growth was spurred by the addition of KMOV St. Louis, KTVK Phoenix and WGGB Springfield, Mass.; record political advertising; and higher net retransmission contribution.
Local Media Group growth was driven by:
- Spot revenue increased 58% to $125 million, an all-time quarterly record.
- Political advertising revenues were $29 million and totaled $42 million for the first half of fiscal 2015 — both record highs. In addition to contributions from the newly acquired stations, Meredith’s existing stations in Phoenix, Hartford, Conn., and Kansas City generated significant political dollars.
- Non-political advertising revenues grew 22% to $95 million, benefiting from the recent acquisitions and strong digital advertising revenue performance.
- Other revenues and operating expenses increased, due primarily to growth in retransmission revenues from cable and satellite television operators and higher programming fees paid to affiliated networks, along with contributions from recent acquisitions. Most of Meredith’s retransmission agreements with cable and satellite operators are scheduled for renegotiation in the next 24 months. Meanwhile, most of Meredith’s network affiliation agreements are in place into fiscal 2017 and beyond.
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, the ABC affiliate in Springfield, Mass. 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.”
The company as a whole reported earnings per share increased 45% to a second quarter record of $1, compared to $0.69 in the prior-year period. Revenues increased 12.6% to $399 million.
Read the company’s report here.