Meredith wins deal to manage business side of Martha Stewart magazine publishing
Meredith will lead sales and marketing, circulation, production, and other non-editorial functions of Martha Stewart Living and Martha Stewart Weddings magazines
NEW YORK and DES MOINES, Iowa – October 15, 2014 — Meredith Corporation today announced that it has entered into an agreement with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia to acquire the rights to Martha Stewart Living and www.marthastewart.com pursuant to a 10-year licensing agreement.
Under the terms of the agreement, Meredith will lead sales and marketing, circulation, production, and other non-editorial functions of Martha Stewart Living and Martha Stewart Weddings magazines. Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia’s (MSLO) editorial team will continue to create its highly regarded content. Additionally, Meredith will assume responsibility for the sales and marketing of www.marthastewart.com and www.marthastewartweddings.com and its related assets, including its vast video library.
The agreement, which applies to the United States and Canada, is effective November 1, 2014. Meredith will begin delivering editions starting with the February 2015 issue of Martha Stewart Living and the Winter 2014 special issue of Martha Stewart’s Real Weddings. The agreement will not have a material effect on Meredith’s fiscal 2015 second quarter financial performance, but will be accretive to Meredith’s earnings for the second half of fiscal 2015 and in fiscal 2016. Meredith will provide more details on its fiscal 2015 first quarter earnings call on October 23, 2104.
“This is a winning arrangement for both companies and their respective shareholders, as well as advertising clients and consumers alike,” said Meredith Chairman and CEO Stephen M. Lacy. “We will leverage Meredith’s tremendous expertise and scale in the magazine and digital fields with the award-winning multi-platform content created by the Martha Stewart team. The change will be invisible to the consumer, and strengthen the Martha Stewart brand in the advertising marketplace.”
Martha Stewart Living is published 10 times annually with a ratebase of 2 million. Its readership is over 10 million, including 1.75 million millennial women, according to Mediamark Research Institute. Martha Stewart’s digital properties average 8 million monthly unique visitors and 60 million views, according to comScore. Martha Stewart Weddings, a quarterly publication, continues its position as the number one bridal magazine on newsstands.
Throughout the years, MSLO has been recognized by the industry for its award-winning content including multiple national magazine awards, 19 Emmys, 3 James Beard Awards, several Webby Awards and more.
“We are very excited to partner with a great company like Meredith, which has an excellent track record in advertising sales, operations and production of a library of some of our country’s most popular magazines. Our editorial team can focus entirely on what we do best: the creation of inspirational, original, practical, useful, and trusted content for our superb publications and digital properties – content that continually enhances and improves consumers’ lives,” said MSLO Founder and Non-Executive Chairman, Martha Stewart.
Meredith will market Martha Stewart Living, Martha Stewart Weddings and the digital assets with its leading brands, including Better Homes and Gardens, Parents, Allrecipes and Traditional Home, according to Meredith National Media Group President Tom Harty. The agreement will enable Meredith to go to market with a reach of more than 100 million unduplicated American women, and a digital reach of more than 65 million unduplicated monthly unique visitors.
“Martha Stewart Living and Martha Stewart Weddings are outstanding brands with a very loyal audience, and we envision a number of great sales and marketing opportunities in conjunction with the Meredith media portfolio,” Harty said. “We believe it will be very appealing to clients and agencies alike, and expose Martha Stewart Living and Martha Stewart Weddings to a wider consumer audience.”
This is the latest in a series of acquisitions, launches and alliances for Meredith’s National Media Group. In November 2013, Meredith launched the award-winning Allrecipes magazine, which followed the acquisition of allrecipes.com in March 2012. Also, Meredith has acquired the Eating Well, Family Fun, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Parenting and Baby Talk brands in the last three years. It will launch Parents Latina, an English-language magazine targeting millennial Hispanic moms, in spring 2015 with a ratebase of 700,000.
Additionally, Meredith’s Local Media Group has completed or announced the acquisition of television stations in Phoenix, St. Louis, Mobile-Pensacola and Springfield (Mass.) in the last year.
“We are constantly looking for strategic acquisitions, partnerships and investment opportunities like these to expand our reach and create additional shareholder value,” said Meredith Chief Development Officer John Zieser.