Meredith to Acquire Multi-Platform EatingWell Media Group
CHARLOTTE, VT/ DES MOINES, IA/ (June 27, 2011) – Meredith Corporation (NYSE:MDP, www.meredith.com), the nation’s leading media and marketing company serving women, announced today that it is acquiring the EatingWell Media Group (www.eatingwell.com) and its multi-platform media assets focused on making healthy eating a way of life.
“We believe EatingWell is a strong addition to our robust portfolio of multichannel food brands,” said Meredith Chairman and CEO Steve Lacy, noting that more than 60 percent of EatingWell’s current revenues come from digital sources, licensing and custom marketing. “Additionally, by effectively leveraging our database of more than 85 million customers, we can increase the brand’s scale, broadening its appeal to a larger base of advertising and marketing clients.”
EatingWell’s assets include:
- A highly successful and award-winning bi-monthly magazine with a circulation of 350,000, that Meredith plans to increase to 500,000 early next year;
- A content-rich website featuring healthy recipes, cooking how-to, meal plans and shopping tips, as well as articles, blogs and nutrition advice. EatingWell.com averaged more than 1.8 million unique monthly visitors and 16 million monthly page views in the first half of 2011, making it one of the top 25 food sites in terms of traffic according to comScore;
- A robust content licensing and custom marketing program providing diet and nutrition articles, how-to cook information, healthy recipes and meal plans to over 75 clients including major consumer portals, healthcare, food and supermarket retail partners;
- A Healthy-in-a-Hurry mobile recipe app rated as a top foodie app by the iTunes store and top health app by Consumer Reports Health Newsletter; and
- A series of high-quality food and nutrition-related books and cookbooks.
“EatingWell has built a strong and loyal following among smart, savvy consumers passionate about food and healthy living,” Meredith National Media Group President Tom Harty said. “Given Meredith’s tremendous reach and cross-marketing assets, we see a significant opportunity to further grow EatingWell through subscriptions, on the newsstand and via online and mobile channels.”
In addition to growing EatingWell magazine’s rate base in the coming years, Meredith plans to substantially increase the brand’s digital presence. The EatingWell website is a perfect fit with the Meredith Women’s Network, which reaches 25 million unique monthly visitors and averages 275 million monthly page views.
Harty also announced that EatingWell CEO Thomas Witschi is joining the Meredith National Media Group as EVP and President, Women’s Lifestyle with responsibility for the More, Fitness, EatingWell and Diabetic Living brands. Witschi, 50, joined EatingWell in December 2005 and has led a significant expansion of the brand across multiple platforms. His career highlights include serving as Vice President, International Publisher for Reader's Digest; Vice President, New Business and International for the Golf Digest Companies; and Publisher of Family Handyman and Group Publisher, Consumer Electronics and Photography Divisions, Hachette Filipacchi Media. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Vermont.
“The entire team at EatingWell is very excited about joining forces with Meredith and its great media brands,” Witschi said. “With its broad consumer reach, industry-leading database and purchasing power, it will allow us to significantly grow what we started here at EatingWell. Additionally, I’m looking forward to working with the teams at More, Fitness and Diabetic Living on developing strategies to grow these already strong brands.”
Terms of the EatingWell acquisition were not disclosed. It is expected to be accretive to earnings, and will not have a material effect on Meredith’s financial performance for fiscal 2012.
“We continue to look for opportunities to acquire and/or invest in properties we can leverage to serve consumer and client needs,” said John Zieser, Meredith's Chief Development Officer. “We are especially focused on entities with multiple revenue streams and significant digital components, such as EatingWell.”
About Meredith Corporation
Meredith Corporation (NYSE: MDP; www.meredith.com) is the leading media and marketing company serving American women. Meredith features multiple well-known national brands – including Better Homes and Gardens, Parents, Family Circle, Ladies' Home Journal, Fitness, More and American Baby – along with local television brands in fast-growing markets. Meredith is the industry leader in creating content in key consumer interest areas such as home, family, health and wellness and self-development. Meredith uses multiple distribution platforms – including print, television, online, mobile, tablets, and video – to give consumers content they desire and to deliver the messages of its advertising and marketing partners. According to the Advertising Industry Reports (AIR) survey of over 1,500 agency and marketing professionals, Meredith is the nation’s “Highest Rated Media Company.” Additionally, Meredith uses its many assets to create powerful custom marketing solutions for many of the nation's top brands and companies. Meredith has significantly added to its marketing solution capabilities in recent years through the acquisition of cutting-edge companies in areas such as digital, mobile, word-ofmouth, social and database marketing.
EatingWell Media Group is a fast-growing multimedia company with the mission of delivering the information and inspiration people need to make healthy eating a way of life. Based in Charlotte, Vermont, EatingWell’s flagship magazine has won top awards in food writing including the 2011 Bert Greene Award for Food Writing that Makes a Difference from the International Association of Culinary Professionals and multiple James Beard Foundation awards. EatingWell.com is a vibrant, growing website with more than 4,000 tested recipes that meet specific nutrition parameters. EatingWell’s book division has produced award-winning healthy cookbooks, such as The Simple Art of EatingWell, The EatingWell Diet and, most recently, EatingWell Fast & Flavorful Meatless Meals. For more about EatingWell visit www.eatingwell.com.