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Meredith is reeling from the COVID pandemic and it's effects on an already dying magazine industry.  They may be worse off than Media General was a decade ago since there may not be a savior in t

Yeah, no argument that she's talented. Just disappointed in what I am hearing from friends at Meredith on how poorly they are being treated by corporate, especially the ones who are now left behind. T

Who didn't see this coming a mile away? No scale.   Calling Hilton & Pat.......  

On 5/2/2019 at 12:27 PM, Weeters said:

Chances are, if Apollo is already "in talks" with them, and the news of the sale is out, Apollo is who the stations are going to. I'd say it's extremely likely that Apollo initiated the talks themselves. We already know Apollo has approached other groups with sacks of cash. Not every sale has to include some drawn out bidding process like Tribune has had.

 

We are entering an interesting dilemma, where there's a decreasing number of potential buyers of stations out there. I predict that it won't be long before we see the bigger players approaching the FCC and Congress to raise or eliminate that pesky cap, in the interests of commerce and business.

 

 

 

 

Problem is, however, and it's not that the FCC can't do anything with the cap, it's the House is controlled by the Dems and we know where the Dems stand on media consolidation.

 

Until the Republicans can win back control of the House in 2020 (if they do) any notion of raising and/or eliminating that pesky cap is going to go nowhere.

Edited by oknewsguy
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2 hours ago, oknewsguy said:

Problem is, however, and it's not that the FCC can't do anything with the cap, it's the House is controlled by the Dems and we know where the Dems stand on media consolidation.

 

Until the Republicans can win back control of the House in 2020 (if they do) any notion of raising and/or eliminating that pesky cap is going to go nowhere.

 

Technically, the cap is an FCC regulation and the power to adjust it lies in the hands of the FCC. Historically, they have done it on their own, without congressional intervention, like they do with the majority of their rules and regulations (such as the UHF discount.)

 

Congress has oversight of the FCC as they do the rest of the government. The problem right now is there is an outstanding order from Congress in 2004 keeping the cap at 39% (from when the FCC tried to raise it to 45%) and directed them to not consider the cap in their quadrennial review of ownership rules.

 

Which creates the chance for Congress to do this on the down low, if they chose to. Withdrawing that order would put the power back in the hands of the FCC. 

 

There just hasn't been any motivation to do it, and the last time it would have been relevant (Sinclair/Trbune) it would have been fairly toxic. But I suspect we'll eventually end up in a situation (Not to get into "what if's", but let's say Hearst is trying to sell) where such a motion will be quietly rolled into some big bill, touted as "saving the television industry from outdated ownership rules that aren't compatible with today's media landscape."

 

This paper is an interesting read on the matter.

 

 

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  • 1 month later...
On 5/10/2019 at 2:13 PM, oknewsguy said:

Problem is, however, and it's not that the FCC can't do anything with the cap, it's the House is controlled by the Dems and we know where the Dems stand on media consolidation.

 

We do? They stand for whatever the person who stuffs the most money in their pockets want. Both Democrats and Republicans. 

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25 minutes ago, DirtyHarry said:

 

We do? They stand for whatever the person who stuffs the most money in their pockets want. Both Democrats and Republicans. 

That's not what I'm talking about sir (not even remotely close). What I'm talking about is Democrats (like Free Press and other consumer advocacy groups) hate media consolidation because they're afraid of groups such as Tegna, Sinclair, and Nexstar having too much control

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22 minutes ago, oknewsguy said:

That's not what I'm talking about sir (not even remotely close). What I'm talking about is Democrats (like Free Press and other consumer advocacy groups) hate media consolidation because they're afraid of groups such as Tegna, Sinclair, and Nexstar having too much control

 

They all talk a good game, but when the rubber meets the road they always find enough votes to get what the money people want. 

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  • 10 months later...
4 hours ago, MidwestTV said:

Meredith is cutting pay 15% to 60% of its workforce. The highest-paid employees will see cuts of 20%-40%.

 

Thats sucks. I wonder who the 40% are that aren't getting cut. Publishing or TV? (EDIT: This article answers that, which also says 1 furlough day per week as well! Yikes.)

 

I did some rough math to compare this to Tegna's furlough. If you average out Tegna's 1 week of no pay over 4 months, that's equivalent to about an 8% pay cut compared to Meredith's minimum of a 15% pay cut. I'd rather be at Tegna and at least get a week off rather than do the same amount of work for less pay. (EDIT: If you calculate the impact of the 1 day per week furlough, that's an additional 20% cut.)

 

Though I do wonder, depending on the rules of the state someone works in and their weekly income, some Meredith employees potentially could apply for UI each of the 16 weeks and get the state amount + federal $600 (until the expiration date) which would more than make up for their loss.

Edited by PTVNews
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Posted (edited)

It just keeps getting worse for Meredith....

 

https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/money/business/2020/05/11/coronavirus-related-losses-prompt-delay-meredith-earnings-report/3111288001/

 

Furloughs and pay cuts could now lead to defaulting on loans and layoffs.

 

From a company that wanted to be the next Tegna or Gray (in terms of station ownership) could now be on the auction block (need I say once more that GRAY the perfect company to buy their TV stations?)

 

Most of the hurt is probably on the magazine side, but the advertising declines could be doing a serious number on TV as well.

 

 

Edited by tyrannical bastard
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25 minutes ago, tyrannical bastard said:

It just keeps getting worse for Meredith....

 

https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/money/business/2020/05/11/coronavirus-related-losses-prompt-delay-meredith-earnings-report/3111288001/

 

Furloughs and pay cuts could now lead to defaulting on loans and layoffs.

 

From a company that wanted to be the next Tegna or Gray (in terms of station ownership) could now be on the auction block (need I say once more that GRAY the perfect company to buy their TV stations?)

 

Most of the hurt is probably on the magazine side, but the advertising declines could be doing a serious number on TV as well.

 

 

 

How are Scripps, Gray, Nexstar and the networks managing with no cuts at all and Hearst being able to even give bonuses in these times? Huge difference.

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Hearst because they're a solid, conservative company that puts out excellent newscasts in virtually every market they operate.

 

Scripps, Gray and Nexstar are all pure-play broadcasters after dumping their newspaper holdings and scaling up (the first two) and despite the crippling debt, cheapness and problems integrating Tribune, anything LOCAL seems to be working for Nexstar right now.

 

Meredith may as well be the next Media General (of the last decade before they wised up and sold Warren Buffett their money-bleeding newspaper division). 

 

When was the last time you ever picked up a magazine to read?  Especially now, they could be carrying germs and waiting rooms are a (hopefully temporary) thing of the past, same goes for the check out aisle....we have more important things to buy than magazines....

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And this is something that @GoldenShine9 and I have talked about in a seperate convo and even in the Speculation thread the question becomes which one of the divisions goes? Do you get rid of the Publishing unit and focus in on growing the company? I think Meredith should either sell one of the 2 units (likely Television since they'll most likely get more interest in that than they would with it's publishing units) or, alternatively spin off the Publishing unit and become the next (insert company name here) for it's TV unit.

 

I think in order for Meredith itself to survive they need to spin off either the publishing unit or it's broadcasting unit otherwise if they're not going to do that they need to sell one or the other

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Posted (edited)

The results...not very good.

 

https://tvnewscheck.com/article/top-news/248945/meredith-station-quarterly-revenue-dips-1-6/

 

According to their data, they were $289M in the red in the last quarter and $240M in the red for the year so far. That was entirely on the national media side, despite revenue decreases across the board. https://meredith.mediaroom.com/2020-05-14-Meredith-Reports-Fiscal-2020-Third-Quarter-And-Nine-Month-Results

 

From what I can tell, Meredith gets only about 15% of its revenue from its local stations. The bulk of its losses came from the national media side - digital and print - due to increased costs there. Revenue declined more on the TV side but so did expenses (local TV still made somewhat of a profit). 

 

https://tvnewscheck.com/article/top-news/248954/meredith-looks-to-grow-share-in-ad-downturn/

 

Edited by GoldenShine9
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4 hours ago, GoldenShine9 said:

The results...not very good.

 

https://tvnewscheck.com/article/top-news/248945/meredith-station-quarterly-revenue-dips-1-6/

 

According to their data, they were $289M in the red in the last quarter and $240M in the red for the year so far. That was entirely on the national media side, despite revenue decreases across the board. https://meredith.mediaroom.com/2020-05-14-Meredith-Reports-Fiscal-2020-Third-Quarter-And-Nine-Month-Results

 

From what I can tell, Meredith gets only about 15% of its revenue from its local stations. The bulk of its losses came from the national media side - digital and print - due to increased costs there. Revenue declined more on the TV side but so did expenses (local TV still made somewhat of a profit). 

 

https://tvnewscheck.com/article/top-news/248954/meredith-looks-to-grow-share-in-ad-downturn/

 

Honestly, I think that given the Local Media side has somehow made a profit is telling me that my theory that Meredith should spin the publishing units off may actually come to fruition.

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22 hours ago, oknewsguy said:

Honestly, I think that given the Local Media side has somehow made a profit is telling me that my theory that Meredith should spin the publishing units off may actually come to fruition.

It's Media General all over again.   The pain on the publishing side is dragging down the rest of the company.  If these troubles continue when things begin to recover, then the investors should start revolting.

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3 hours ago, tyrannical bastard said:

It's Media General all over again.   The pain on the publishing side is dragging down the rest of the company.  If these troubles continue when things begin to recover, then the investors should start revolting.

Exactly. I'd be willing to bet that the TV side will keep the Meredith name when the split happens although "Local Media Group" while it may sound generic however I'll take that over names such as Tegna any day of the week so the TV side really can't go wrong with either name.

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1 hour ago, oknewsguy said:

Exactly. I'd be willing to bet that the TV side will keep the Meredith name when the split happens although "Local Media Group" while it may sound generic however I'll take that over names such as Tegna any day of the week so the TV side really can't go wrong with either name.

 

Not diving into speculation, they could do what MG eventually did, and become a pure-play broadcaster by sending the print to investors (luckily Warren Buffett was in a buying mood and saved the company from potential ruin if it didn't take place.)

That however, could make them ripe for a takeover, much like Soo Kim did in the Young-Media General merger, and later the merger with LIN.

 

Meredith at least has some brand equity in it's magazine brands, and the licensing of them that transcends into the retail and media marketplaces.

 

In an alternate universe, how would they be faring now had the Meredith Media General merger happened as planned?  A good topic for the speculatron.

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3 hours ago, tyrannical bastard said:

 

Not diving into speculation, they could do what MG eventually did, and become a pure-play broadcaster by sending the print to investors (luckily Warren Buffett was in a buying mood and saved the company from potential ruin if it didn't take place.)

That however, could make them ripe for a takeover, much like Soo Kim did in the Young-Media General merger, and later the merger with LIN.

 

Meredith at least has some brand equity in it's magazine brands, and the licensing of them that transcends into the retail and media marketplaces.

 

In an alternate universe, how would they be faring now had the Meredith Media General merger happened as planned?  A good topic for the speculatron.

That sounds like a good idea.

 

In fact I may start that when I get home

 

Honestly though I don't see Buffett coming in to rescuing this time around the print and publishing units were already in decline to begin with and I imagine it'll continue even after COVID eventually blows over because I can't imagine very many people wanting to go into say a doctors office or wherever and pick up a magazine not knowing who touched the magazines last.

 

I do agree with Meredith being the next MG but I can also see a combination of them also being the next Belo and the next Media General. Quite frankly this is the only chance Meredith has left to become buyers is by becoming pure play.

Edited by oknewsguy
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Posted (edited)

With all the Meredith talk, the key point: local TV only makes up 15% of their revenue. The national media they have is 85% of their business.

 

Regardless, it's clear the company is in financial trouble right now.

Edited by GoldenShine9
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Posted (edited)

While Meredith seems to be cutting pay and freezing hiring, they somehow managed to replace the General Managers at WGCL and WALA.

https://tvnewscheck.com/article/top-news/249479/meredith-names-new-gms-in-atlanta-mobile/

 

WGCL?  Because you rent, don't buy. If it ain't fixed by now....

 

I wonder if WALA's GM was bounced too or left on his own.  Despite the constant turnover of reporters, it's a much more stable place than some of their Meredith counterparts.

UPDATE:  He left due to "budget cuts"...so essentially forced out.☹️

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What is going on at WGCL. Any insiders know? Things were going good, then the ND, GM, Assistant ND all out. Are they done w the changes or more on the way? 

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Meredith is considering changing their corporate charter, so they can consider splitting their TV interests and their "national" ones.

https://www.ftvlive.com/sqsp-test/2020/9/11/meredith-is-looking-to-split-up-company

 

I agree with Scott, it could signal that they are looking to sell something eventually.

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31 minutes ago, tyrannical bastard said:

Meredith is considering changing their corporate charter, so they can consider splitting their TV interests and their "national" ones.

https://www.ftvlive.com/sqsp-test/2020/9/11/meredith-is-looking-to-split-up-company

 

I agree with Scott, it could signal that they are looking to sell something eventually.

 

I wonder how this would affect the Meredith-produced TV series including that wonderful People boondoggle starting next week. Would Four M Studios qualify as a TV interest or a national interest?

 

On that note, the real sign of something being gravely wrong came last week when WFSB, flagship of the TV group, suddenly parted ways with lead anchor Dennis House on his 28th anniversary with the station. The timing of this move is very, very suspect.

  • While Connecticut has been a success story for containing COVID, it's still going on and all indications showed that House's weekly "Face The State" specials on Thursday nights with Gov. Lamont were going to resume in the Fall.
  • There's an election in two months, and while this is an "off" cycle for the US Senate seats in Connecticut it still is a crucial election. While WFSB can, and has, easily plugged Capitol correspondent Susan Raff to host the main Face the State on Sunday mornings, it still is a bad look, Heck the banner image on WFSB's page for Face the State speaks a ton.
  • This comes less than a year after the very sudden death of Denise D'Ascenzo, a tragedy that left the station catatonic. While this could play a role, Dennis and Denise had a very close relationship as "TV spouses" and "the [opposite gender sibling they] never had", it still isn't a good look given the above especially since it was truly Dennis leaving on his own volition you know they would've milked a goodbye and set up a plan of succession. This said...
  • Meredith is still under a hiring freeze, still hasn't found a replacement for the aforementioned Denise (though finding the right person + COVID hasn't helped), and for men has a bench that boils down to...not much. Hard to build a bench when your station sees little movement.
  • Oh, and let's consider that WFSB still employs his wife. For whom in part they're reviving the last gasp of the "Better" format six months after a COVID hiatus and a year after it got cut from an hour to a half hour. 

This is a good look on nobody at all, much more Meredith than a very atypically silent Dennis.

 

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, tyrannical bastard said:

Meredith is considering changing their corporate charter, so they can consider splitting their TV interests and their "national" ones.

https://www.ftvlive.com/sqsp-test/2020/9/11/meredith-is-looking-to-split-up-company

 

I agree with Scott, it could signal that they are looking to sell something eventually.

Which this was reported on the other day seen here:

 

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/meredith-corporation-seeks-shareholder-approval-of-charter-amendment-301126224.html

 

I'll save my thoughts on this latest Meredith development both for Speculation and when I talk to @GoldenShine9 in the private messages

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