Publisher Meredith to cut 250 jobs, take charge

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Meredith Corp said it would cut 250 jobs, close a magazine and take a $16 million second-quarter charge because of poor advertising brought on by the weak economy.

“The recessionary economy has impacted both publishing and broadcasting advertising, which accounts for approximately 60 percent of our revenue stream,” Chief Executive Stephen Lacy said in a statement released on Thursday. “Trends indicate a continuing soft economy into calendar 2009 as well.”

Meredith will take a charge of $16 million, which comes out to $9 million after tax, or 20 cents a share, for its fiscal 2009 second quarter.

The charge includes job cuts, the closing of Country Home magazine and moving the ReadyMade brand and to its headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa, Meredith said. The publisher also has an office in New York.

Meredith plans to report its second-quarter results on January 22. Analysts on average are expecting earnings of 48 cents a share before charges and other items on revenue of $366.1 million, according to Reuters Estimates.

Magazine publishers from Conde Nast to Time Warner Inc’s Time Inc have cut employees and taken other moves to fight a drop in advertising that has been exacerbated by the world financial crisis.

Meredith shares were down 3 cents, or .2 percent, at $18.39 in early afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Reporting by Robert MacMillan