Meredith Corporation just announced a mega licensing deal with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, so there’s plenty for Meredith’s CEO — Stephen Lacy — to talk about. In an interview with WWD, Lacy discusses that partnership and more. Below are some highlights.
On how the MSLO deal happened:
I just have a long-standing philosophy that, when a leader comes into one of our peer businesses, I just reach out. When Dan Dietz, the new CEO, came on board at Martha, he and I had a get-acquainted meeting, just over a year ago. It was just a matter of, is there anything we can do to capitalize on our collective strength that would be good for both sets of our shareholders?
On the economic future of Meredith:
Our circulation and television revenues are really good. Print ad pages continue to be challenged. On the television side, I think we’re going to be OK in political [ads], but it also started off slow. It’s picking up. Our belief is that those trends persist, and we need to be smart about the portfolio and do things that position us in the strongest light.
On the possibility of splitting its publishing and TV properties:
We have one legal department, one HR operation, one financial system for both businesses. So, if it was step one of a two-step transaction like Time Inc., then absolutely. We’re kind of agnostic about that, but we don’t want to do something where we make less money than we do right now.