Meredith Corp. reported an 11% decrease in revenue from its local media group, from $157 million in the quarter last year to $140 million in its fiscal second quarter of 2016.
The group’s operating profit was $40 million, down from $55 million from Q2 last year. Being it was not an election year, Meredith captured $29 million less of political ad revenue; however, fueled by improvement in the automotive, professional services and retail categories, non-political advertising revenues jumped 9% to a record $104 million. Digital ad revenue jumped 20%, partly due to Meredith taking its programmatic sales efforts in-house to keep all revenue. In addition, retrans consent fees were higher than in the previous year’s quarter.
"We're very proud of our focus on the local viewer, and very pleased that our advertising clients continue to recognize the unique ability that television has to engage and inspire consumers," said Paul Karpowicz, Meredith Local Media Group president. "In particular, we are very pleased to see the strong growth in the Atlanta, Hartford and Kansas City markets."
Meredith, whose local media group features 17 TV stations reaching 11% of U.S. households, announced Wednesday the termination of its merger agreement with Media General, which is set to be acquired by Nexstar Broadcasting Group.
“Our Local Media Group delivered excellent growth in non-political advertising revenues from both our existing stations and our recent strategic acquisitions,” said Stephen M. Lacy, Meredith chairman and CEO.