Meredith reported fiscal third quarter revenues of $98 million in its Local Media Group, up 14% from the same quarter in the previous year. Operating profit grew 11% to $27 million. Both figures are records for a fiscal third quarter, said Meredith, whose growth was driven by increased retransmission-related revenues and strong performance from stations in Nashville, Phoenix and Las Vegas.
Meredith began its ownership of KMOV St. Louis in the quarter; the deal closed Feb. 28. The CBS affiliate has “tremendous news and advertising sales momentum,” according to Meredith.
Meredith Local Media Group digital advertising revenues grew 27%.
"We're pleased to deliver another quarter of record operating results," said Local Media Group president Paul Karpowicz (pictured). "We're excited to have KMOV in St. Louis as part of the Meredith portfolio. KMOV's addition—along with improving non-political advertising, growth in digital advertising and an anticipated robust political advertising cycle—point to a strong calendar 2014 for our business."
Total company revenues were $367 million in the quarter, down slightly from $370 million in the previous fiscal third quarter. National Media Group operating profit was $14 million ($33 million excluding special items) in the fiscal third quarter, compared to $43 million. National revenues were $270 million, compared to $284 million in the previous year’s quarter.
"Growth in retransmission, circulation, and brand licensing revenues partially offset a difficult ad environment for Meredith and our media industry peers," said Meredith chairman and CEO Stephen M. Lacy. "However, our advertising outlook is significantly better for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, with expected gains in our television and digital businesses, and improving magazine advertising trends."
Meredith forecasts total company revenues to be up in the low single digits in the fiscal fourth quarter, with Local Media Group revenues up in the high teens.