Meredith Local Media Group revenues for the fiscal first quarter of 2015 came in at $125 million, a record for the quarter and 39% above the previous year’s first quarter. Growth was spurred by the additions of KMOV in St. Louis and KTVK in Phoenix, political advertising, and higher net retransmission contribution.
"Fiscal 2015 is off to a solid start," said Meredith Chairman and CEO Stephen M. Lacy. "We're encouraged by improving advertising trends, particularly in the digital sector, and the strong performance of our recent acquisitions. In addition, our brands continue to resonate extremely well with consumers across our media platforms and at retail."
On Aug. 20, Meredith agreed to buy the broadcast assets of WALA Mobile-Pensacola. That purchase is expected to close by the end of calendar 2014.
Operating profit grew more than 40% to a fiscal first quarter record of $36 million. EBITDA grew to a first quarter record of $45 million.
Total advertising revenues on Meredith’s broadcast side increased 43% to $93 million, also a first quarter record.
"This was our first full quarter operating both KTVK and KMOV, and they are great additions to the Meredith portfolio," said Meredith Local Media Group president Paul Karpowicz. "We were also very pleased to see political advertising strengthen as the quarter progressed."
Meredith's National Media Group reported fiscal 2015 first quarter operating profit of $29 million, up 3%. Revenues were $246 million.
Meredith forecasts total Local Media Group revenues to be up 45 to 50% in the fiscal second quarter, with political advertising revenues between $22 million and $25 million. National Media Group revenues are expected to be down in the low- to mid-single digits.