Meredith Station Quarterly Rev Falls 35%

Sequential improvement in digital and broadcast advertising couldn’t offset ad losses due to the coronavirus pandemic, sending Local Media revenue to $73.1 million for the company’s fiscal fourth quarter.

Meredith Corp. this morning reported that its station group’s fiscal fourth quarter revenue decreased 34.7% to $73.1 million from $111.9 million in the same quarter a year ago.

The station group (“Local Media”) revenue comprised:

  • Non-political spot of $48.5 million, down from 80.9 million a year ago.
  • Political spot of $6.4 million, up from $300,000.
  • Digital of $4.2, which was flat.
  • Third-party sales of $14 million, down from $26.5 million in 4Q 2019.

The station group saw operating profit drop 54.7% to $28.4 million from $62.6 million and adjusted EBITDA dropped 47.4% to $38.1 million.

The company as a whole reported quarterly total revenue of $611.2 million, down 22%, due primarily to:

  • COVID-19 related advertising cancellations and delays that reduced revenues by an estimated $136 million.
  • Previously announced magazine portfolio adjustments designed to improve profitability that reduced advertising and consumer related revenues by approximately $40 million.

Fiscal 2020 fourth quarter earnings from continuing operations was $6 million, compared to a loss of $4 million in the prior year period. Fiscal 2020 fourth quarter adjusted EBITDA was $80 million, compared to $169 million in the prior year period, primarily due to COVID-19-related declines in advertising.

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In spite of lower revenue and earnings, the company said that cash flow from operations “was a strong $124 million in the fiscal 2020 fourth quarter, up 33% from the prior year period.”


Meredith Corp. President-CEO Tom Harty said: “We took important steps in fiscal 2020 to strengthen Meredith’s competitive position over the long-term, including accelerating our digital businesses and capabilities; strengthening our market-leading portfolio of brands; and growing our connection to more than 190 million consumers who interact with our brands.

“While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to materially impact our business, we saw continued strong consumer engagement along with improvement in advertising revenue performance during the course of the fourth quarter, particularly for our digital and broadcast properties. Additionally, we continue to take proactive action to maximize free cash flow, ensure ample liquidity, and enhance our financial flexibility.

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“Looking ahead, we believe our strong brands and audience reach — which includes nearly 95 percent of American women, 155 million unique monthly digital visitors, and a paid subscription base of 36 million consumers — positions us to enhance the value we deliver to our advertising and marketing partners and continue growing our consumer connection.

“Meredith’s strength lies with our brand depth and consumer reach, which have stood the test of time and have become even more relevant as consumers seek high quality content they can trust. While the current business environment is challenging, I am confident the strength and resilience of our portfolio of brands and businesses, and their strong engagement with tens of millions of consumers, will generate growth over the long term,” Harty concluded.

Read the company’s report here.

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