Meredith Posts 1% Increase in Fiscal Q1 Local Media Revenue

12% boost in non-political advertising offsets drop in political
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Meredith Corp.’s Local Media Group reported $126 million in revenue for its fiscal 2016 first quarter, a 1% increase year over year.

While Meredith posted $2 million of political advertising revenue, $11 million less compared to the previous year’s quarter—the summer prior to the 2014 midterm election—the company nabbed $89 million in non-political advertising, a 12% boost. Other revenues were up $3 million, driven by the acquisition of WALA in Mobile-Pensacola, Ala. and WGGB in Springfield, Mass., a higher retrans fee and improvements in professional services, retail and restaurants.

Meredith reported $39 million in adjusted EBITDA, down from $45 million in 2015 Q1.

"We were pleased to deliver solid growth in non-political advertising revenues, which speaks to the fundamental strength of our television broadcasting business," said Paul Karpowicz, Meredith Local Media Group president. "We continue to focus on producing local news that engages our viewers, monetizing the strength of our audiences and expanding our digital business."

Meredith expects its Local Media Group revenues for its fiscal 2016 second quarter to be down in the high-single digits compared to the prior year’s quarter, which had the 2014 midterm election. Of course, those estimates would certainly change if Meredith’s merger with Media General goes through next quarter, although that is no sure thing.

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