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MEREDITH CORPORATION REPORTS GAIN IN FIRST QUARTER EARNINGS

 DES MOINES, Iowa, Oct. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Meredith Corporation (NYSE: MDP) today reported a 54 percent gain in earnings before taxes for the fiscal 1994 first quarter ended Sept. 30, 1993. Earnings before taxes for the first quarter were $10,050,000, compared with $6,542,000 in the prior-year period. Improvements in the company's Broadcast and Magazine groups led to the increase in operating earnings. This improvement, however, was offset by a 10 cent per share negative impact of the federal income tax rate increase. After the impact of the increased tax rate, quarterly net earnings were $3,444,000, or 24 cents per share, compared with $3,441,000, or 22 cents per share, in the prior-year quarter. The increase in earnings per share is a result of a smaller number of shares outstanding due to the company's share repurchase program.
 Revenues for the fiscal 1994 first quarter advanced three percent, totaling $182,291,000, compared with $177,449,000 in the prior-year quarter.
 "In light of the soft advertising environment during our first quarter, I'm extremely pleased with our overall results," said Jack D. Rehm, Meredith Corporation chairman, president and chief executive officer. "Our smaller titles continued to outperform the marketplace. Country America and Traditional Home magazines both had ad revenue gains in excess of 40 percent, although our two largest titles, Better Homes and Gardens and Ladies' Home Journal, felt the effects of the tight ad climate. In addition, four of our seven television stations reported increases in advertising revenue."
 Magazine Group Results
 Double-digit percentage gains in Magazine Group profits were recorded during the first quarter, despite the weakened ad market. Increased newsstand sales and profits in the company's lineup of Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publications contributed to the group's improved performance, as did profit gains by Country America and Traditional Home.
 Broadcast Group Results
 Increases in local ad revenues and lower programming expenses led the Broadcast Group to strong profit improvement. Local revenues were up five percent as a group, with KPHO, the company's independent station in Phoenix, recording a double-digit increase. The group also benefited from a recent settlement between the broadcast industry and ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers) over music license fees.
 Other
 Results in the company's Book and Real Estate groups showed little change from the prior-year period. Increased losses were incurred by the company's wholly owned subsidiary, Meredith Cable, Inc., in the current quarter due to the investment in the Minnesota cable system which occurred on Sept. 1, 1992. The higher loss, due to interest expense and other acquisition costs, reflects three months of ownership in the current quarter compared with one month in fiscal 1993. Gains on the sale of miscellaneous assets and favorable spending led to lower corporate nonoperating expense in the fiscal 1994 first quarter.
 Meredith Corporation, headquartered in Des Moines, is a Fortune 500 diversified media company involved in magazine and book publishing, television broadcasting, residential real estate marketing and franchising, and investments in cable television.
 MEREDITH CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES
 Consolidated Statements of Earnings
 (Unaudited)
 (Dollar amounts in thousands, except per share)
 Three Months Ended
 9/30/93 9/30/92
 Revenues (less returns and allowances)
 Advertising $73,349 $81,179
 Circulation 61,754 56,419
 Consumer books 20,257 20,558
 All other 26,931 19,293
 Total revenue 182,291 177,449
 Operating costs and expenses:
 Production, distribution and editorial 76,607 79,740
 Selling, general and administrative 84,742 85,094
 Depreciation and amortization 9,057 6,060
 Total operating costs and expenses 170,406 170,894
 Income from operations 11,885 6,555
 Interest income 432 791
 Interest expense (2,815) (1,062)
 Minority interests 548 258
 Earnings before income taxes 10,050 6,542
 Income taxes 6,606 3,101
 Net earnings $3,444 $3,441
 Net earnings per share of common stock $0.24 $0.22
 Dividends paid per share 0.16 0.16
 Average number of shares outstanding 14,488,000 15,623,000
 -0- 10/21/93
 /CONTACT: Robin Lenocker of Meredith Corporation, 515-284-3386 or (home) 515-279-3744/
 (MDP)


CO: Meredith Corporation ST: Iowa IN: PUB SU: ERN

AL-DS -- MN009 -- 5026 10/21/93 09:32 EDT
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Date:Oct 21, 1993
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