Meredith Priming iPad Pump

Better Homes and Gardens may not be the first brand that springs to mind when people think “early adaptor,” but Tom Harty, the newly named president of Meredith’s National Media Group, said the company is getting ready to jump on the iPad bandwagon, starting with its flagship brand.

Harty said Meredith would launch three to four of its magazines in Q1 2011 on the iPad and other anticipated e-reading devices.

The Hyperfactory, Meredith’s newly acquired mobile firm, is playing a major role in the digital editions’ development, he said.

“We’re going to be platform-agnostic,” he said. “We’re going to test and see what the consumer demand is. We’re very bullish on it for the long-term, but obviously, there have to be a lot [of tablets] in consumers’ hands to get scale.”

Meredith is one of five media companies that are funding Next Issue Media, an e-reader consortium.

In the near term, Harty said he had no plans to change the direction set by his predecessor, Jack Griffin, who lead a push into interactive marketing services and big-scale, customized programs for advertisers.

“Meredith is well positioned with a lot of things Jack has put into place,” he said.

Meredith has lately outperformed the industry in ad page growth, but it hasn’t been immune to the challenges facing the publishing industry. Citing the growing expense of putting out print magazines, Meredith recently slashed the circulation guarantees of Ladies’ Home Journal and Traditional Home.