Meredith Renews with Walmart, Plots Licensing Strategy for Time Inc. Brands

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IL0218better1Meredith Corp. renewed its long-running Better Homes and Gardens DTR with Walmart though July 2021 and is plotting licensing strategy for its newly acquired Time Inc. brands.With the acquisition of Time, Meredith will focus much of its licensing efforts on Southern Living, Travel and Leisure, InStyle, Real Simple and People, all of which previously had licensing deals,  says a Meredith spokesman.

Time took “a much more scatter-shot approach to licensing without much depth while we tend to go much deeper” with fewer agreements, says a Meredith spokesman. “We are evaluating all of the titles to see which make the most sense” for licensing and “we think there is opportunity to put together some meaningful programs for them.”

Meredith completed its acquisition of Time last fall. It sold off Fortune magazine in December for $150 million and is seeking buyers for Sports Illustrated and Money and a 60% stake in internet consulting firm Viant.

In the new agreement with Walmart – the current one was set to expire in August – the Better Homes and Gardens brand will continue in many of the same categories as before including bedding, bath towels, storage, furniture, tabletop and other products. Walmart sells about 3,000 Better Homes and Gardens products through its stores, Walmart.com and Jet.com

Meredith’s national media business, which includes licensing, subscription and newsstand sales and ecommerce, more than tripled its operating profit to $45.2 million in Q2 ended Dec. 31 as revenue more than doubled to $591 million from $247.4 million with the addition of the Time publications.

Overall, Meredith’s profit declined to $18.6 million from $159.4 million amid a near doubling of selling, general and administrative expenses to $325 million and a $68.4 million loss on discontinued operations. Revenue increased to $853.5 million from $417.7 million.

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Meredith Corp., Joseph Ceryanec, CFO, 515-284-3000