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Posts Tagged ‘Meredith Corporation’

Morning Media Newsfeed: Amazon Unveils Fire Phone | Carney’s Final Briefing

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Amazon Launches Smartphone (GalleyCat)
Amazon has gotten into the smartphone business with the launch of the Fire, Amazon’s first smartphone. NYT Though the device is called the Fire phone, Amazon’s new gadget is less a phone than a pocketable cash register hooked directly into the retailer’s intelligent warehouses. And it’s not cheap. The Fire phone sells for $199 with a two-year AT&T contract. Although it also comes with a free one-year subscription to Amazon’s Prime membership, the Fire phone is essentially the same price as high-end phones made by Apple and Samsung. For Amazon, a company whose previous devices have had innovative pricing plans that often involved selling devices at cost, the Fire phone’s uninspired price tag is a surprising disappointment. The Washington Post / The Switch The phone lets you scan products in stores, so that you can buy things directly from Amazon, using a new service called “Firefly.” Users can even use the phone to “listen” to songs or videos, and link users to places to buy them. It can also recognize art, and scan text such as phone numbers and then immediately place a call. The Verge There’s one big difference here: the Fire phone’s interface changes based on how you’re looking at it and how you orient the device. Amazon calls the feature “Dynamic Perspective,” which basically means that some apps on the phone will have a three-dimensional depth to them, and tilting the phone will let you peer around edges, just as you can with real objects. Mashable The history of 3D-type screens in mobile suggests consumers aren’t interested in the feature. The two most notable devices, the HTC Evo 3D and the LG Optimus 3D, both flopped. The only real 3D success in mobile so far has been the Nintendo 3DS, which is explicitly a game console.

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Time Inc. and Meredith Merger Rumor Returns

Now that Time Inc. is on its own, the rumor that the publishing house and Meredith Corporation will merge is popping up once again. According to The Street, Meredith might acquire Time Inc. as soon as next year:

Meredith could buy Time in the fourth quarter of 2015, Citi analyst Jason Bazinet predicted. The deal is not likely to occur before then because of the tax-free nature of the Tiime spin-off, the analyst believes. Time shareholders would probably receive $28 per share in a takeover and would have 40%-48% of Meredith’s equity following the deal.

The Time Inc./Meredith talks began last February. Despite plenty of discussions, the deal ultimately fell through when the two sides couldn’t come to an agreement on the fate of TimeFortuneMoney and Sports Illustrated. 

Regardless of what the Citi analyst thinks, earlier this month Joe Ripp —Time Inc.’s CEO — was blunt about the idea of a Time Inc./Meredith combo. “I’ve had no conversations with Meredith and I have no plans to talk with [Meredith's CEO] Steve Lacey in the near future,” Ripp said at the time.

Media reporters please note that the phrase “near future” is open to wild and rampant speculation.

Meredith to Fold Ladies’ Home Journal [Updated]

Another magazine is biting the dust: Meredith is folding Ladies’ Home Journal.

Ladies’ Home Journal hasn’t been doing well lately. The cracks started to appear in 2012, when it announced an odd plan to have a majority of its content created by readers. On the business side, things haven’t been any better. Ad pages have been on the decline for years, and were down 22 percent during the first quarter of this year.

Even though the signs were all there, this is still unfortunate. You might not think Ladies’ Home Journal was that important, but consider this: It had been around since 1883. It’s sad to see such a long-lasting magazine disappear.

We’ve reached out to Meredith for comment, and we’ll update when we hear back.

Update (1:22 pm):
Just heard back from Meredith. The company plans to continue publishing LHJ, but reduce it to a quarterly, newsstand-only publication.

Update (3:40 pm):
35 staffers have been cut as a result of the decision to decrease LHJ’s publication frequency. Hang in there everyone.

Meredith Promotes Janell Pittman, AIM Names Exec VP

A couple moves to note, regarding Meredith and AIM. The details are below.

  • Meredith Corporation has promoted Janell Pittman from general manager of BHG.com (Better Homes and Gardens’ site) to VP and general manager of the Better Homes and Gardens and Parents Digital Network. She will now oversee Parents.com and Parenting.com, in addition to BHG.com.
  • AIM — publisher of Yoga Journal, Backpacker, Ski, Vegetarian Times and more — has named Patricia Fox executive VP of operations. Fox was most recently senior VP and general manager of AIM’s Healthy Living Group.

Meredith Adds Sales Manager

meredith-bMeredith Corporation has named Tim Russell senior managing director of sales at Meredith Video Studios, the company’s video development and production arm. Russell comes to Meredith from Comcast Media 360, where he served as VP of Eastern region sales.

“Tim is a leader in the industry who has demonstrated strong success in building integrated client partnerships throughout the advertising community,” said Kieran Clarke, executive VP/GM of Meredith Video Studios, in a statement. ”His impressive background and experience in multi-platform sales – along with his understanding of the market and ability to fully utilize data to create effective and targeted campaigns – will be extremely valuable in building on the continuous growth of Meredith Video Studios.”

Russell’s appointment is effective immediately. He reports to Clarke.

Meredith Names Sales Exec

meredith-bMeredith Corporation has named Charles Schenck has been named vice president/programmatic sales and strategy, a new role at the company. Schenck comes to Meredith from PubMatic, where he served as VP/publisher development.

“Chip is a highly respected and innovative leader is the digital media industry,” said Carolyn Bekkedahl, Meredith’s senior VP/digital sales, in a statement. “He brings tremendous experience developing strategies in the areas of data-driven sales and programmatic media that have become such an essential element of brand marketing.”

Schenck’s appointment is effective immediately.

Meredith Buys Gannett TV Stations for $407.5 Million

meredith-bMeredith Corporation, publisher of Better Homes & GardensEvery Day with Rachael Ray and more, is expanding its TV business. The company has purchased Gannett TV stations located in Phoenix and St.Louis, for $407.5 million.

The buy includes KASW in Phoenix and KMOV in St. Louis. Meredith also acquired KTVK in Phoenix, but is selling it in a different deal to SagamoreHill.

“These are high performing stations and will add to our already strong cash flow,” said Meredith’s CEO, Stephen Lacy, in a statement. “We will increase our presence in the large and growing Phoenix market, where we own KPHO, the CBS affiliate.  KMOV in St. Louis adds another Top 25 market to our portfolio, and when combined with KCTV in Kansas City, gives us powerful local brands in two of the Midwest’s top news and sports markets.”

The purchase is expected to close in the first quarter of next year, pending FCC approval.

Allrecipes to Increase Rate Base

People really love recipes. They must, because Allrecipes — which features a lot of them — is upping its rate base from 500,000 to 650,000, beginning with the magazine’s April 2014 issue.

Keep in mind that Allrecipes, a spinoff of allrecipes.com, launched just last month. That’s a great, immediate response for its publisher, Meredith.

“We are hearing from readers how much they enjoy the array of ideas and inspiration in the magazine, and how it is further fueling their passion as everyday cooks,” said Cheryl Brown, Allrecipes’ editor-in-chief, in a statement. “They are excited at the endless possibilities being offered across the Allrecipes brand in print, digital, broadcast and mobile media, and we want to serve their hunger for the brand.”

Alison Adler Matz Named Publisher of More, Steven Grune Publisher of Allrecipes

Meredith has named two new publishers today. Alison Adler Matz has been named publisher of More magazine and Steven Grune has been named publisher of Allrecipes magazine.

Matz comes to Meredith from Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, where most recently she served as senior VP, strategic brand sales. Matz was also publisher of Everyday Food and Whole Living. Grune was most recently VP/group publisher at Bonnier Corporation. Prior to his time at Bonnier, Grune spent almost a decade with Hearst Corporation, where he served as VP/publisher of Country Living.

“Steve and Alison are both well respected leaders in the industry who understand the critical importance of creating multi-channel brands,” said Tom Witschi, executive VP of Meredith Women’s Lifestyle Group, in a statement. “We are thrilled to have such strong and experienced individuals to lead these brands.”

Meredith Promotes Two

Meredith Corporation has promoted Jon Werther and Andy Wilson. Werther has been upped to executive VP/publisher of Meredith Digital and Wilson to senior VO and chief digital officer.

Werther most served as Meredith’s chief strategy officer. In his new role, he’ll be overseeing all of the company’s digital entities. He’ll report to Tom Harty, Meredith National Media Group’s president. Wilson — who has been with Meredith since 1996 — most recently served as the company’s senior VP/audience development and commerce. He’ll report to Werther.

“In Jon and Andy, Meredith possesses two of the brightest minds in digital media,” said Harty, in a statement. “Just as important, they have track records of successful project innovation and implementation. We look forward to their ongoing leadership and execution as Meredith expands upon its leadership position in creating and marketing women-centered digital content.”

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