Meredith Corp. Lays Off Staff

Cuts follow string of acquisitions

Publisher and broadcaster Meredith Corp. revealed today it laid off 60 people, a little less than 2 percent of its total workforce of 3,400. The parent of mass women's brands like Better Homes and Gardens and Family Circle took a $7 million net special charge related to the layoff in its fiscal second quarter, which it’s expected to report on Jan. 24.

A company rep said the layoff’s impact was spread across the company and that a key factor was the desire to reduce overlap with recently acquired companies. Meredith has been on a buying spree lately, acquiring cooking site for $175 million and snapping up smaller brands like Every Day With Rachael Ray and FamilyFun

At the same time, the company is battling a tough print ad market. In its first fiscal quarter, covering the three months that ended Sept. 30, ad revenue in its all-important National Media Group increased 7 percent—but without the benefit of acquisitions, it would have declined 9 percent.

The reduction was smaller than Meredith’s last round of layoffs in April 2012 when the company cut 80-plus jobs.