About Meredith Corporation
Meredith is a publisher and broadcaster with some of the best-known brands in its portfolio of periodicals. Its over 15 magazines include flagship publication Better Homes and Gardens, as well as People, InStyle, and Southern Living. It has a readership of more than 120 million and paid circulation of more than 40 million. Its more than 15 network-affiliated TV stations across reach eleven percent of US households. Meredith also operates 50 websites and applications (apps). Its national media brands are distributed in approximately 70 countries.
Meredith titles cover entertainment, food, lifestyle, parenting, and home categories through well-known brands such as Allrecipes, Better Homes & Gardens, InStyle, People, Real Simple, Shape, Southern Living, and Martha Stewart Living. Advertising accounts for about 50% of revenues, while consumer related represents over 45%.
Meredith currently operates through two main business segments. Its national media group (About a quarter of revenue) consists of magazine publishing, digital and mobile media, brand licensing activities, database-related activities, affinity marketing, and business-to-business marketing products and services. Licensing activities include more than 3,000 SKUs of branded products at Walmart stores across the US and at Walmart.com. The national media segment includes affinity marketer Synapse, and The Foundry, the company's production studio.
Its local media group (more than 25% of revenue) consists of its TV and radio stations, related interactive media operations, and video-related operations.
The Des Moines, Iowa-based Meredith has a global reach, primarily through international licensing agreements. Its brands are distributed in approximately 70 countries, including a localized presence in countries such as Australia, China, India, Mexico, Russia, and Germany.
It has editorial and sales offices, technology centers, and warehouses throughout the US and in Canada, China, India, Japan, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Singapore, and Switzerland.
Sales and Marketing
The majority of the company's advertising expenses relate to direct-mail costs for magazine subscription acquisition efforts. Total advertising expenses were $152.1 million in fiscal 2020, $193.3 million in fiscal 2019, and $86.3 million in fiscal 2018.
The company's revenue at the end of 2020 decreased by 11% to $2.8 billion compared to $3.2 billion in the prior year. National media revenues decreased 11% primarily due to declines in print advertising and subscription revenues as a result of portfolio changes and a reduction in advertising related and consumer related revenues due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Local media revenues decreased 11% primarily due to declines in high margin political advertising revenues due to the cyclical nature of political advertising and a reduction in non-political and third party advertising related revenues, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Net income at the end of fiscal 2020 decreased by 53% resulting in a loss of $234.3 million.
Cash held by the company at the end of 2020 increased by $87.4 million to $132.4 million, compared to $45.0 in the prior year. Cash provided by operations and investing activities were $306.6 million and $3.1 million, respectively. Cash used for financing activities was $216.7 million, primarily for the redemption of preferred stock.
In fiscal 2020, the company added to its digital businesses and capabilities: Meredith built a new technology platform with robust data capabilities supporting its expanding digital activities; the company advanced its video and audio strategies; and the company added to its subscription acquisition and e-commerce capabilities.
Meredith launched a series of new brands, product expansions, and re-alignments to improve profitability in fiscal 2020. In its national media operations, the company launched Reveal, a new lifestyle magazine partnering with Property Brothers television show hosts Drew and Jonathan Scott; Sweet July, with best-selling author, restaurateur, and television host Ayesha Curry; and a new multimedia personal finance brand Millie that is dedicated to helping women achieve their financial goals. It re-aligned several brands in its national media portfolio to improve efficiency and completed the last of its planned asset sales.
In its local media operations, the company launched two national television shows based on the People and Southern Living brands; and continued to expand news production and are now producing 745 hours of local content each week.
Mergers and Acquisitions
In early 2020, Meredith Corporation announced the acquisition of SwearBy, a digital platform for word of mouth recommendations designed to crowdsource and share products that women "swear by" based on their personal experiences. Financial terms were not disclosed.
In late 2019, the company has acquired Santa Monica-based, Stop, Breathe & Think (SBT), a mobile mindfulness app with more than 17 million emotional check-ins to date. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Around the turn of the century, Edwin Thomas (E. T.) Meredith's grandfather eschewed traditional gifts and gave his grandson a unique wedding present -- a handful of $20 gold pieces, enough to buy the grandfather's controlling interest in the Farmer's Tribune, and a note instructing his grandson to "Sink or Swim" with the financially troubled publication. Meredith proceeded to revive the Farmer's Tribune, and after he sold it in 1902, he used the profits to found Meredith Corporation and launch Successful Farming magazine.
Following a stint as Secretary of Agriculture under President Woodrow Wilson, E. T. Meredith extended the company's publishing reach, introducing Fruit, Garden and Home in 1922. Two years later the publication became Better Homes and Gardens. E.T. Meredith died in 1928, but his company forged ahead, moving into book publishing in 1930 with the first issue of Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book.
After going public in 1946, Meredith entered the fledgling TV market. It bought its first TV station (Syracuse, New York's WHEN-TV) in 1948, followed by KPHO (Phoenix) in 1952 and Kansas City's KCTV in 1953. Accelerated expansion was the essence of Meredith's story in the decades that followed. The company acquired Ladies' Home Journal in 1986.
Executive committee chairman E. T. Meredith III -- grandson of the company's founder -- died in early 2003.
1716 Locust St
Des Moines, IA 50309-3023
Phone: 1 (515) 284-3000
Employer Type: Publicly Owned
Stock Symbol: MDP
Stock Exchange: , NYSE
Vice Chairman: D. Mell Meredith Frazier
President and COO: Thomas H. Harty
Chairman and CEO: Stephen M. Lacy
Employees (This Location): 268
Employees (All Locations): 5,370
Des Moines, IA
Culver City, CA
Los Angeles, CA
San Francisco, CA
Rocky Hill, CT
Des Moines, IA
Royal Oak, MI
Lake Saint Louis, MO
New York, NY
Bala Cynwyd, PA
Goose Creek, SC