Meredith CEO opens the door to possible magazine or broadcast spin off, inviting in partners
Following the failure to complete the merger with Media General, Meredith is now looking at five new possible acquisitions, and is open to a ‘spin-merge’ with an appropriate partner
The CEO of Meredith, Stephen Lacy, today opened the door a bit to the possibility of a spin off of publishing from broadcast when he was interviewed this morning by Bloomberg. That possibility was brought up during the time of the Meredith-Media General deal, which eventually failed to close due to investor objections and the emergence of a competing bid from Nester Broadcasting Group for Media General (which did close).
“Absolutely, we’ve looked at that a number of times,” Lacy said. “We would need to execute a scale play, probably a spin-merge, put one business or other together with another strategic partner.”
Currently, Meredith’s broadcast side remains smaller than its magazine side, especially after the media company was able to acquire the Martha Stewart Living magazines and SHAPE. But the company is looking at five possible new acquisitions, so each side of the business could be a target for a spin-merge deal.
Lacy could be putting out a trial balloon, looking for a possible partner to raise their hands and begin talks about what a merger might look like. The chief executive flatly dismissed any idea that Time Inc. might be that partner. Meredith was previously in talks with Time Warner about acquiring at least some of the Time Inc. titles, but instead Time Inc. was spun off on its own.
Both Meredith and Time Inc. are busy beefing up their digital audiences, targeting “millennial women” – a group brands and agencies would like to target. Today, Time Inc. announced a new website that targets this segment called Motto (see TNM post on the new site here).