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Meredith Corporation  (MDP)
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Meredith Corporation

Business Description


Meredith Corporation, one of the nation's leading media and marketing companies, is engaged in magazine and book publishing, television broadcasting, integrated marketing, and interactive media. Virtually all of the Company's revenues are generated in and assets reside within the United States.

The Company has two business segments: publishing and broadcasting.

The publishing segment is focused on the home and family market. It consists of 17 magazine brands, including Better Homes and Gardens, Ladies' Home Journal, and American Baby, as well as approximately 170 special interest publications; book publishing with nearly 300 books in print; integrated marketing relationships with some of America's leading companies; a large consumer database; an extensive Internet presence, including 24 web sites and strategic alliances with leading Internet destinations; brand licensing relationships; and other related operations.

The broadcasting segment includes the operations of 11 network-affiliated television stations located across the continental United States. These stations consist of five CBS affiliates, four FOX affiliates, one NBC affiliate, and one UPN affiliate.

The Company's largest revenue source is magazine and television advertising. Television advertising is to some extent seasonal, traditionally generating higher revenues in the second and fourth fiscal quarters and during key political contests, major sporting events, etc.

Name recognition and the public image of the Company's trademarks (e.g., Better Homes and Gardens and Ladies'Home Journal) and television station call letters are vital to the success of ongoing operations and to the introduction of new business. The Company protects its interests by aggressively defending its trademarks and call letters.

The major raw materials essential to the publishing segment are coated publication and book-grade papers.

Competition

Publishing is a highly competitive business. The Company's magazines, books, and related publishing products and services compete with other mass media, including the Internet, and many other types of leisure-time activities. Competition for readers is based principally on price, editorial content, marketing skills, and customer service. Competition for advertising dollars is based primarily on advertising rates, circulation levels, reader demographics, advertiser results, and sales team effectiveness.

Gaining market share for newer magazines and specialty publications is extremely competitive. Competition is also intense for established titles. Better Homes and Gardens and Ladies' Home Journal, for example, must compete for readers and advertisers with other women's service magazines such as Family Circle®, Good Housekeeping®, Redbook®, and Woman's Day® magazines, which are published by other companies. According to the Publisher's Information Bureau, the combined fiscal 2003 advertising revenue market share of Better Homes and Gardens and Ladies' Home Journal magazines totaled approximately 43 percent of the women's service magazine market.

Meredith television stations compete directly for advertising dollars and programming in each of their markets with other television stations and cable television providers. Other mass media providers such as newspapers, radio, web sites, and direct broadcast satellite are also competitors. Advertisers compare market share, audience demographics, and advertising rates and take into account audience acceptance of a station's programming, whether local, network, or syndicated. Some competing services have the potential of providing improved signal reception and/or increased programming selection.





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