Meredith Corporation
10-K on 08/27/2020   Download
SEC Document
SEC Filing
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UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
FORM 10-K

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended
June 30, 2020
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from __ to __

Commission file number 1-5128
image4a09.jpg
MEREDITH CORPORATION
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
 
 
Iowa
42-0410230
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
 
1716 Locust Street,
Des Moines,
Iowa
50309-3023
(Address of principal executive offices)
(ZIP Code)
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: 
(515)
284-3000
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
 
Title of each class
 
Trading Symbol
 
Name of each exchange on which registered
 
 
Common Stock, par value $1
 
MDP
 
New York Stock Exchange
 
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
 
 
 
Title of class
 
 
 
Class B Common Stock, par value $1

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. þ  Yes o  No
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. o  Yes þ  No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.
þ  Yes o  No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). þ  Yes o  No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and emerging growth company in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.     Large accelerated filer þ     Accelerated filer o     Non-accelerated filer o     Smaller reporting company      Emerging growth company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.    o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.    
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).   Yes þ  No
The registrant estimates that the aggregate market value of voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates of the registrant at December 31, 2019, (the last business day of the most recently completed second fiscal quarter) was approximately $1.3 billion based upon the closing price on the New York Stock Exchange at that date.
Shares of stock outstanding at July 31, 2020
Common shares
40,338,808

Class B shares
5,084,423

Total common and class B shares
45,423,231





DOCUMENT INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Certain portions of the Registrant’s Proxy Statement for the Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held on
 November 11, 2020, are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Form 10-K to the extent described therein.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
 
 
 
 
Page
 
 
 
Part I
 
 
 
Business
 
 
 
Description of Business
 
 
 
 
     National Media
 
 
 
     Local Media
 
 
 
Information about our Executive Officers
 
 
 
Employees
 
 
 
Other
 
 
 
Available Information
 
 
 
Forward-Looking Statements
 
 
Risk Factors
 
 
Unresolved Staff Comments
 
 
Properties
 
 
Legal Proceedings
 
 
Mine Safety Disclosures
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Part II
 
 
 
Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Shareholder Matters, and
 
 
     Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
 
 
Selected Financial Data
 
 
Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and
 
 
     Results of Operations
 
 
Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
 
 
Financial Statements and Supplementary Data
 
 
Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and
 
 
     Financial Disclosure
 
 
Controls and Procedures
 
 
Other Information
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Part III
 
 
 
Directors, Executive Officers, and Corporate Governance
 
 
Executive Compensation
 
 
Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and
 
 
     Related Stockholder Matters
 
 
Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence
 
 
Principal Accountant Fees and Services
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Part IV
 
 
 
Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules
 
 
Form 10-K Summary
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Meredith Corporation and its consolidated subsidiaries are referred to in this Annual Report on Form 10-K
 (Form 10-K) as Meredith, the Company, we, our, and us.




 
 
PART I
 
 



ITEM 1. BUSINESS


GENERAL

Meredith Corporation has been committed to service journalism since its inception in 1902 as an agricultural publisher. In 1924, the Company published the first issue of Better Homes & Gardens. The Company entered the television broadcasting business in 1948. Today Meredith uses multiple media platforms—including print, digital, mobile, video, and broadcast television—to provide consumers with content they desire and to deliver the messages of our advertising and marketing partners. Nationally, Meredith serves more than 190 million unduplicated American consumers, including 120 million women and 90 percent of United States (U.S.) millennial women. Meredith’s broadcast television stations reach 11 percent of U.S. households.

The Company is incorporated under the laws of the State of Iowa. Our common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol MDP.

The Company operates two business segments: national media and local media. Our national media segment includes leading national consumer media brands delivered via multiple media platforms, including print magazines, digital and mobile media, brand licensing activities, database-related activities, affinity marketing, and business-to-business marketing products and services. Our focus is on the entertainment, food, lifestyle, parenting, and home categories, which include brands such as People, Better Homes & Gardens, InStyle, Allrecipes, Real Simple, Shape, Southern Living, and Martha Stewart Living among others. In addition to subscription magazines, in fiscal 2020, we published over 300 special interest publications. Most of our brands are also available as digital editions on one or more of the major digital newsstands and on major tablet devices. The national media segment’s extensive digital presence consists of 50 websites and applications (apps). The national media segment also includes brand licensing activities, affinity marketing, third-party marketing, an extensive consumer database, and other related operations.

Our local media segment consists of 17 television stations located across the U.S. concentrated in fast-growing markets with related digital and mobile media assets. The television stations include seven CBS affiliates, five FOX affiliates, two MyNetworkTV affiliates, one NBC affiliate, one ABC affiliate, and two independent stations. Local media’s digital presence includes 12 websites and 12 apps focused on news, sports, and weather-related information. In addition, the local media segment sells geographically and demographically targeted advertising programs to third parties.

Financial information about industry segments can be found in Item 7-Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations and Item 8-Financial Statements and Supplementary Data under Note 19.

The Company’s largest revenue source is advertising. National and local economic conditions affect the magnitude of our advertising revenues. Both national media and local media revenues and operating results can be affected by changes in the demand for advertising and consumer demand for our products. Television advertising is seasonal and cyclical to some extent, traditionally generating higher revenues in the second and fourth fiscal quarters and during key political contests and major sporting events. Magazine circulation revenues are generally affected by national and regional economic conditions and competition from other forms of media.


1



BUSINESS DEVELOPMENTS

In September 2019, Meredith acquired magazines.com, a website that promotes, markets, and sells print and electronic magazine subscriptions.

In October 2019, the second step in a two-step process to sell the Sports Illustrated brand was completed. After this second step, the Company ceased publication activities associated with this brand. Also, in October 2019, Meredith closed the sale of the Money brand, and Meredith sold its investment in Viant to Viant’s founders. In January 2020, Meredith closed on the sale of the FanSided brand, and in February 2020, Meredith sold its investment in Xumo. These fiscal 2020 sales marked the completion of all sales of the brands designated as assets-held-for-sale after Meredith acquired Time Inc. (Time) in fiscal 2018.

In October 2019, Meredith completed the acquisition of Stop, Breathe & Think, an emotional wellness platform intended to build the emotional strength of its users. The platform was named one of Amazon Alexa’s Top 10 Skills of 2019. In spring 2020, the platform was renamed MyLife.

Allrecipes, America’s largest digital food media brand, experienced record digital traffic for the Thanksgiving holiday. The site recorded 50.4 million visits during Thanksgiving week (Friday-Thursday, November 22-28, 2019), an increase of 6.4 percent over the prior-year period. In December 2019, Allrecipes reached an all-time monthly high of 60.3 million unique visitors.

In December 2019, Meredith extended its licensing agreement with Walmart Inc. (Walmart) through mid-2024. This program features more than 3,000 SKUs of Better Homes & Gardens branded products at 4,000 Walmart stores across the U.S. and on Walmart.com.

During fiscal 2020, Meredith launched new partnerships to create quarterly premium subscription magazines. Reveal, a lifestyle magazine with home at the core with Drew and Jonathan Scott from the hit show Property Brothers launched in January 2020 and Sweet July, an extension of the lifestyle brand of New York Times bestselling author, restaurateur, chef, television host, and producer, Aeysha Curry, launched in May 2020.

As a result of strong consumer demand and success on the newsstand, Meredith re-launched subscriptions to Coastal Living and Cooking Light with their Winter 2020 issues. Both titles’ subscription models had been discontinued in previous years and were most recently newsstand only titles.

During fiscal 2020, Meredith redesigned and reimagined certain print brands. In January 2020, Meredith re-designed Rachael Ray’s magazine with a fresh look and format under the new name Rachael Ray In Season. The quarterly newsstand only title featured upgraded paper stock, bolder photography, and new editorial sections and insider contributors. The April 2020 issue of Food & Wine featured upgraded paper and a larger trim size to reflect an increasing print audience.

In April 2020, the Company expanded the Meredith Sales Guarantee with its new Meredith Audience Action Guarantee (MAAG). The Meredith Sales Guarantee guaranteed advertisers a specified reach. The MAAG guarantees that a specific number of readers will take action as a result of seeing a brand campaign in Meredith magazines.

In April 2020, Meredith launched a television show based on the Southern Living brand, which is airing in all 12 of Meredith’s local media markets.

COVID-19 Pandemic

In December 2019, there was an outbreak of a novel strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) in China that has since spread to nearly all regions of the world. The outbreak was subsequently declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization in March 2020. In the face of unprecedented business conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,

2



we looked to our values and long-term strategy to guide us, while leveraging our agility to quickly adapt to changing business conditions.

As we focus on managing our business and operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the health and well-being of our employees, our vendors, our customers, and the communities in which we operate are our top priorities. We are taking measures to adhere to all regulations and guidelines from government and health agency authorities related to the containment of COVID-19 and to implement emerging health and safety best practices, including:

Implementing a careful, phased reopening of our offices and television broadcast stations where permitted by local regulations.
Providing masks and other personal protective equipment for those employees who have returned to work at our offices and television broadcast stations.
Ensuring proper distancing or barriers between workstations and requiring masks and social distancing in common areas.
Increasing the frequency and intensity of janitorial cleaning and adding sanitizing stations, public cleaning supplies, and signage throughout the worksite.
Educating returning team members about disease prevention, including hygiene and cleaning, through required video and online training.
Launching an online daily worksite entry questionnaire that must be completed prior to entry to a worksite.
Implementing a work-from-home policy for most staff positions and suspending non-critical business travel.
Devoting resources to assisting employees diagnosed with COVID-19 and implementing immediate contact tracing and support to other potential close contact employees.

As we continue to navigate through the pandemic, we have taken significant steps to secure our liquidity position to provide financial flexibility, including:

Raising $710 million of new secured debt and using the proceeds, along with existing cash on hand, to redeem all outstanding shares of our perpetual convertible redeemable non-voting Series A preferred stock (Series A preferred stock).
Repaying the $35 million outstanding balance under our revolving line of credit.
Amending our revolving line of credit facility providing for a “Covenant Relief Period” through March 31, 2022, during which the Company will have greater access to borrowings under the facility by increasing the consolidated net leverage ratio financial covenant initially from 4.25x to 6.0x before stepping down in several increments to 5.0x. The financial covenant only applies when Meredith’s borrowings under the facility exceed 30 percent of the amount available under the facility.
Pausing our common stock and class B stock dividends, with the intention of reviewing our dividend policy as developments warrant.
Temporarily reducing pay for our Board of Directors, our executives, and approximately 60 percent of our employees.
Limiting discretionary spending across the organization.
Re-prioritizing our capital projects.

For additional details regarding the impacts and risks to our business from the COVID-19 pandemic, refer to Item 1-Risk Factors and Item 7-Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations included elsewhere in this Form 10-K.



3



DESCRIPTION OF BUSINESS

National Media

National media contributed 73 percent of Meredith’s consolidated revenues in fiscal 2020. People and Better Homes & Gardens, our flagship brands, together account for a significant percentage of revenues and operating profit of the national media segment and the Company.

Magazines
Information for our major subscription magazine titles as of June 30, 2020, is as follows:

Title
Related Websites
Description
Frequency
per Year
Year-end
 Rate Base

1 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Better Homes & Gardens
bhg.com
traditionalhome.com
Women’s service
12
7,600,000

 
People
people.com
Celebrity
52
3,400,000

 
Southern Living
southernliving.com
Travel and lifestyle
11
2,800,000

 
Shape
shape.com
Women’s lifestyle
10
2,500,000

 
Parents
parents.com
Parenting
12
2,200,000

 
Martha Stewart Living
marthastewart.com
marthastewartweddings.com
Women’s service
10
2,050,000

 
Real Simple
realsimple.com
Women’s service
12
1,975,000

 
EatingWell
eatingwell.com
cookinglight.com
Food
10
1,775,000

 
InStyle
instyle.com
Women’s lifestyle
12
1,700,000

 
Entertainment Weekly
ew.com
Entertainment
12
1,500,000

 
Allrecipes
allrecipes.com
Food
6
1,400,000

 
Health
health.com
Women’s lifestyle
10
1,350,000

 
Midwest Living
midwestliving.com
Travel and lifestyle
6
950,000

 
Travel + Leisure
travelandleisure.com
Travel and lifestyle
12
950,000

 
Food & Wine
foodandwine.com
Food
12
925,000

 
People en Español
peopleenespanol.com
Celebrity
9
500,000

 
Successful Farming
agriculture.com
Farming business
13
390,000

 
1
 
Rate base is the circulation guaranteed to advertisers. Actual circulation generally exceeds rate base and, for most of the Company’s titles, is tracked by the Alliance for Audited Media, which issues periodic statements for audited magazines.

In addition to these major magazine titles, we published over 300 special interest publications under approximately 70 brands in fiscal 2020. The titles are issued from one to six times annually and sold primarily on newsstands. A limited number of special interest publication subscriptions are also sold.

Magazine Advertising—Advertising revenues are generated primarily from sales to clients engaged in consumer marketing. Many of Meredith’s larger magazines offer regional and demographic editions that contain similar editorial content but allow advertisers to customize messages to specific markets or audiences. The Company sells two primary types of magazine advertising: display and direct response. Advertisements are either run-of-press (printed along with the editorial portions of the magazine) or inserts (preprinted pages). Most of the national media segment’s advertising revenues are derived from run-of-press display advertising. Meredith also possesses strategic marketing capabilities, which provide clients and their agencies with access to all of Meredith’s media platforms and capabilities, including print, television, digital, video, mobile, consumer events, and custom marketing. Our team of creative and marketing experts delivers innovative solutions across multiple media channels that meet each client’s unique advertising and promotional requirements.

4



The rates at which we sell print advertising depend on each magazine’s rate base, which is the circulation of the magazine that we guarantee to our advertisers, as well as our audience size. If we are not able to meet our committed rate base, the price paid by advertisers is generally subject to downward adjustments, including in the form of future credits or discounts. Our published rates for each of our magazines are subject to negotiation with each of our advertisers. We sell digital advertising primarily on a flat rate/sponsorship basis or on a cost per thousand, or CPM, basis. Flat rate/sponsorship deals are sold on an exclusive basis to advertisers giving them access to our major events. CPM deals are sold on an impression basis with a guarantee that we will deliver the negotiated volume commitment. If we are not able to meet the impression goal, we will extend the campaign or provide alternative placements.

Magazine Circulation—Most of our magazines are sold primarily by subscription and delivered to subscribers through the mail. Subscriptions obtained through direct-mail solicitation, agencies, insert cards, the internet, and other means are Meredith’s largest source of circulation revenues. Revenue per subscription and related expenses can vary significantly by source. The majority of subscription magazines are also sold by single copy. Single copies sold on newsstands are distributed primarily through magazine wholesalers, who have the right to receive credit from the Company for magazines returned to them by retailers.

Newsstand sales include sales through traditional newsstands as well as supermarkets, convenience stores, pharmacies, and other retail outlets. We also publish branded books, including soft-cover “bookazines.” These are distributed through magazine-style “check-out pockets” at retail outlets and traditional trade book channels. We publish books on a diverse range of topics aligned with our brands, including special commemorative and biographical books. We also publish books under various licensed third-party brands and a number of original titles. Our Oxmoor House imprint publishes a variety of home, cooking, and health books under our lifestyle-oriented brands as well as licensed third-party brands.

Digital and Mobile Media
National media’s 50 websites and apps provide information, ideas, and inspiration for nearly 95 percent of American women. These branded websites focus on the topics that women care about most—celebrity, entertainment, food, home, entertaining, and meeting the needs of moms—and on delivering powerful content geared toward lifestyle topics such as health, beauty, style, and wellness. Our Allrecipes brand has four omni-channel sites serving six countries in two languages, one app across multiple platforms, and one Skill for Amazon Alexa. Fiscal 2020 digital traffic across our various platforms averaged approximately 150 million unique monthly visitors. Our brands have a robust social networking presence as well. In fiscal 2020, national media reached approximately 93 million Facebook fans, 51 million Twitter followers, 46 million Instagram followers, over 12 million Pinterest followers, and over 8 million YouTube subscribers.

Additionally, we have 18 of our titles available as digital editions, with an audience of approximately 2.1 million. Digital subscriptions and single-copy sales collectively represent 5.7 percent of our total rate base.

Other Sources of Revenues
Other revenues are derived from digital and customer relationship marketing, other custom publishing projects, brand licensing agreements, and ancillary products and services.

Affinity Marketing—Synapse Group, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Meredith, is an affinity marketing company that partners with publishers, brick and mortar retailers, digital partners, airline frequent flier programs, and customer service and direct response call centers. It is a major marketer of magazine subscriptions in the U.S. Building on its continuity marketing expertise, Synapse has diversified its business to also market other products and services. For example, Synapse manages several branded continuity membership programs and is developing continuity programs for product partners. Meredith also owns magazines.com and magazine.store, websites focused on the sales of Meredith and third-party magazine subscriptions.

Brand Licensing—Meredith Brand Licensing generates revenue through multiple long-term trademark licensing agreements with retailers, manufacturers, publishers, and service providers. Our licensing programs extend the

5



reach of Meredith brands into additional consumer channels in the U.S. and abroad. Currently the world’s second- largest global licensor, Meredith has direct-to-retail partnerships with leading companies, including Better Homes & Gardens at Walmart, Southern Living at Dillard’s, and InStyle-branded hair salons in select JC Penney stores.

Our most significant partnership is Better Homes & Gardens-branded products sold at Walmart stores in the U.S. and at Walmart.com. The brand is represented by more than 3,000 products across multiple categories in the home décor, outdoor living, hardlines, and garden space. Meredith also has a long-term agreement to license the Better Homes & Gardens brand to Realogy Corporation, which is entering its 13th year as a residential real estate franchise system operating as Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, LLC. The real estate network now includes more than 370 offices and more than 13,000 real estate professionals across the U.S., Canada, Bahamas, Jamaica, and Australia. Also, in the real estate sector, the Southern Living and Coastal Living brands include networks for 24 Hotel Collection members and 14 inspired residential communities.

The EatingWell branded line of healthy frozen foods entrées manufactured and distributed by Bellisio Foods Inc. now includes up to 12 frozen entrées and four noodle bowls to select from at more than 15,000 regional and national grocery locations. Also new in fiscal 2020 is an Allrecipes licensing program with Lifetime Brands, Inc. for more than 80 kitchenware items sold exclusively at Kroger grocery stores.

Other licensing agreements include the Southern Living Plant Collection at Home Depot, Lowes, and more than 5,000 independent garden centers; the Coastal Living collection by Universal Furniture; and Southern Living and Real Simple with 1-800 FLOWERS. We also entered into agreements in fiscal 2020 for two programs that we anticipate will begin in fiscal 2021: The Clorox Company for Real Simple natural cleaning products and TF Publishing for 2021 wall calendars and meal planners under the Real Simple, Allrecipes, and Life trademarks.

The Company expands its international reach primarily through international licensing agreements. Meredith’s national media brands are currently distributed in approximately 70 countries, including a localized presence in more than 30 countries such as Australia, China, India, Mexico, Russia, and Germany in print and digitally. The Company licenses its national media brands for consumer merchandise in 8 countries. The Company continues to pursue activities that will serve consumers and advertisers while also extending and strengthening the reach and vitality of our brands.

Meredith has granted distribution rights for backlist titles of our consumer-leading brands, including the powerful Better Homes & Gardens imprint, to a book publisher. Meredith creates book content and retains all approval and content rights while the distributor is responsible for reprinting, sales and marketing, distribution, and inventory management. Meredith receives revenue based on sales less a 20 percent distributor fee.

The Foundry 360—The Foundry 360 is a creative content studio serving clients across a broad range of industries. The services include using our content creation expertise to develop content marketing programs across multiple platforms, including native advertising that enables clients to engage new consumers and build long-term relationships with existing customers.

Production and Delivery
Paper, printing, and postage costs accounted for 17 percent of the national media segment’s fiscal 2020 operating expenses. Coated and supercalendered publication paper is the major raw material essential to the national media segment. We directly purchase all the paper for our magazine production and custom publishing business. The Company has contractual agreements with major paper manufacturers to ensure adequate supplies for planned publishing requirements. The price of paper is driven by overall market conditions and is therefore difficult to predict. In fiscal 2020, average paper prices decreased 4 percent, whereas in fiscal 2019 average paper prices increased 10 percent. Paper prices decreased 1 percent in fiscal 2018. Management anticipates a reduction in paper prices of approximately 5 percent in fiscal 2021.

There has been significant consolidation in the printing industry over the last 15 years. In 2019, only two printers remained with the capability and capacity to handle a substantial portion of Meredith’s magazine print production.

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In early 2020 one of the two printers filed for bankruptcy protection. In anticipation of this event, Meredith negotiated an early termination of that contract and moved nearly all our magazine production to the last remaining supplier capable of producing the entirety of our work. This move extended our contract with that printer through 2030, creating price stability for our print manufacturing prices for the next ten years.

Postage is a significant expense of the national media segment. We continually seek the most economical and effective methods for mail delivery, including cost-saving strategies that leverage work-sharing opportunities offered within the postal rate structure. Periodical postage accounts for over 80 percent of Meredith’s postage costs, while other mail items—direct mail, replies, and bills—account for nearly 20 percent. The Governors of the United States Postal Service (USPS) review prices for mailing services annually and adjust postage rates periodically. In general, postage rate changes are capped by law at the rate of inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index. The most recent rate change was an increase of approximately 1.9 percent effective January 2020. Except for fiscal 2016, postage prices have risen in each of Meredith’s last five fiscal years. While we expect postage rates to again increase in January 2021, an ongoing legislatively mandated review of the existing law by the Postal Regulatory Commission could potentially result in adjustments to the current rate-setting regime. The impact of any such change could be effective as early as the first quarter of calendar 2021. Meredith continues to work independently and with others to encourage and help the USPS find and implement efficiencies to contain rate increases. We cannot, however, predict future changes in the postal rates or the impact they will have on our national media business.

Third parties provide subscription fulfillment services for Meredith’s national media brands. Third parties also provide domestic magazine newsstand distribution services through multi-year agreements.

Competition
Publishing is a highly competitive business. The Company’s magazines and related publishing products and services compete with other mass media, including the internet and many other leisure-time activities. Competition for advertising dollars is based primarily on advertising rates, circulation levels, reader demographics, advertiser results, and sales team effectiveness. Competition for readers is based principally on editorial content, marketing skills, price, and customer service. While competition is strong for established titles, gaining readership for newer magazines and specialty publications is especially competitive.


Local Media

Local media contributed 27 percent of Meredith’s consolidated revenues in fiscal 2020. Information about the Company’s television stations at June 30, 2020, is as follows:

Station,
Market
DMA
National
Rank  1
Network
Affiliation
Related Website
Expiration
Date of Network Affiliation
Virtual
Channel
Expiration
Date of FCC
License
Average
Audience
Share  2
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WGCL-TV
10
CBS
cbs46.com
July 2023
46
April 2021
4.8%
Atlanta, GA
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WPCH-TV
10
Independent
n/a
n/a
17
April 2021
0.9 %
Atlanta, GA
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
KPHO-TV
11
CBS
azfamily.com
July 2023
5
October 2022
6.0%
Phoenix, AZ
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
KTVK
11
Independent
azfamily.com
n/a
3
October 2022
4.4%
Phoenix, AZ
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
KPTV
22
FOX
kptv.com
July 2022
12
February 2023
6.5%
Portland, OR
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Station,
Market
DMA
National
Rank  1
Network
Affiliation
Related Website
Expiration
Date of Network Affiliation
Virtual
Channel
Expiration
Date of FCC
License
Average
Audience
Share  2
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
KPDX
22
MyNetworkTV
n/a
September 2022
49
February 2023
1.7 %
Portland, OR
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
KMOV
23
CBS
kmov.com
July 2023
4
February 2022
11.3 %
St. Louis, MO
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WSMV-TV
28
NBC
wsmv.com
December 2021
4
August 2021
6.4 %
Nashville, TN
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
KCTV
32
CBS
kctv5.com
July 2023
5
February 2022
9.2 %
Kansas City, MO
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
KSMO-TV
32
MyNetworkTV
n/a
September 2022
62
February 2022
0.7 %
Kansas City, MO
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WFSB
33
CBS
wfsb.com
July 2023
3
April 2023
9.9%
Hartford, CT
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
New Haven, CT
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WHNS
38
FOX
foxcarolina.com
July 2022
21
December 2020
4.2 %
Greenville, SC
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Spartanburg, SC
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Asheville, NC
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Anderson, SC
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
KVVU-TV
39
FOX
fox5vegas.com
July 2022
5
October 2022
5.6 %
Las Vegas, NV
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WALA-TV
57
FOX
fox10tv.com
July 2022
10
April 2021
5.9 %
Mobile, AL
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pensacola, FL
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WNEM-TV
77
CBS
wnem.com
July 2023
5
October 2021
13.8 %
Flint, MI
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Saginaw, MI
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bay City, MI
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WGGB-TV
111
ABC
westernmassnews.com
August 2023
40
April 2023
6.3 %
Springfield, MA
 
FOX
 
July 2022
40.2
 
2.8 %
Holyoke, MA
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WSHM-LD
111
CBS
westernmassnews.com
July 2023
3
April 2023
2.9 %
Springfield, MA
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Holyoke, MA
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
n/a Not applicable
 
 
 
 
 
 
1  Designated Market Area (DMA) is a registered trademark of, and is defined by, Nielsen Media Research. The national rank is from the 2019-2020
   DMA ranking.
2  Average audience share represents the estimated percentage of households using television tuned to the station in the DMA. The percentages shown reflect
   the average total day shares (6:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m.) for the November 2019, February 2020, and May 2020 measurement periods.

Operations
The principal sources of the local media segment’s revenues are 1) retransmission of our television signals by cable, satellite, telecommunications, and over-the-top service providers; 2) local non-political advertising focusing on the

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immediate geographic area of the stations; 3) national non-political advertising; 4) political advertising which is cyclical with peaks occurring in our odd-numbered fiscal years (e.g., fiscal 2019, fiscal 2021) and particularly in our second fiscal quarter of those fiscal years; 5) geographic and demographic-targeted digital and print advertising programs sold to third parties; and 6) digital advertising on the stations’ websites, mobile-optimized websites, and apps.

The stations sell commercial time to both local/regional and national advertisers. Rates for spot advertising are influenced primarily by the market size, number of media competitors, including in-market broadcasters, and audience ratings and demographics. Generally, the larger a station’s audience in any particular daypart or program, the higher the advertising rates it can command. As supply and demand fluctuate in the market, so do a station’s advertising rates. Independent representative firms sell most national advertising while the sales staff at each station sell local/regional advertising.

Typically, 40 to 50 percent of a market’s television advertising revenue is generated during local newscasts. Stations are continually working to increase the number of newscasts and additionally grow their news ratings, which in turn increase advertising revenues.

Meredith’s 16 national network affiliation agreements also influence advertising rates. A network affiliation agreement provides a station the exclusive right to broadcast network programming in its local service area. In return, the network has the right to sell most of the commercial advertising aired during network programs and receives programming fees from the station.

Retransmission consent revenue is generated from cable, satellite, telecommunications, and over-the-top service providers who pay Meredith for access to our television station signals so that they may retransmit our signals and charge their subscribers for this programming. These fees increased in each of the last three fiscal years, primarily due to renegotiations of expiring contracts and negotiated rate increases on existing contracts effective during the year.

Programming fees paid to the networks are, in essence, a portion of those retransmission consent fees. Programming fees paid to the networks increased significantly in fiscal 2020 and 2019 due to renegotiations of expiring contracts.

Stations sometimes also pay networks for certain marquee sports programming (professional football, college basketball, and Olympics) and news services. While Meredith’s relations with the networks historically have been very good, the Company can make no assurances they will remain so over time.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has permitted broadcast television station licensees to use their digital spectrum for a wide variety of services such as high-definition television programming, audio, data, mobile applications, and other types of communication, subject to the requirement that each broadcaster provide at least one free video channel equal in quality to the current technical standards. All of our stations are broadcasting one or more additional programming streams on their digital channels: one airs the Fox network; two of our markets have MyNetworkTV; ten carry Cozi TV; six broadcast the Court TV: Mystery and Circle networks; three air the Bounce and Grit networks; and four air the LAFF, DABL, and Court TV networks.

The costs of television programming are significant. In addition to network fees, there are two principal programming costs for Meredith: locally produced programming, including local news, and purchased syndicated programming. The Company continues to increase our locally produced news and entertainment programming to control content and costs and to attract advertisers. Syndicated programming costs are based largely on demand from stations in the market and can fluctuate significantly.

Local media’s operations also include MNI Targeted Media (MNI). Through MNI, we provide clients with a single point of contact for a range of targeted digital and print advertising programs primarily on a local and regional level. Digital products include programmatic offerings and custom display advertising on local and national websites.

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Print products include customized geographic and demographic-targeted advertising programs in approximately 35 top U.S. magazines, including our own national media magazines and those of other leading magazine publishers.

Competition
Meredith’s television stations compete directly for advertising dollars and programming in their respective markets with other local television stations, radio stations, and cable/satellite systems, newspapers, outdoor, local magazines, direct mail, and their related websites and apps. The stations further compete against these media competitors and other local and national digital and mobile media properties. Advertisers compare audience viewership/consumption, market share, audience demographics, and advertising rates, whether local, network, or syndicated, when making advertising decisions.

Regulation
The ownership, operation, and sale of broadcast television stations, including those licensed to the Company, are subject to the jurisdiction of the FCC, which engages in extensive regulation of the broadcasting industry under authority granted by the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (Communications Act), and has the authority to promulgate rules and regulations governing broadcasting. The Communications Act requires broadcasters to serve the public interest. Among other things, the FCC assigns frequency bands; determines stations’ locations and operating parameters; issues, renews, revokes, and modifies station licenses; regulates and limits changes in ownership or control of station licenses; regulates equipment used by stations; regulates station employment practices; regulates certain program and advertising content, including commercial matters in children’s programming; regulates the retransmission of television stations by multichannel video programming distributors; has the authority to impose penalties for violations of its rules or the Communications Act; and imposes annual fees on stations. Reference should be made to the Communications Act, as well as to the FCC’s rules, public notices, and rulings for further information concerning the nature and extent of federal regulation of broadcast stations.

Broadcast licenses are granted for terms of up to eight years. The Communications Act directs the FCC to renew a broadcast license if the station has served the public interest and is in substantial compliance with the provisions of the Communications Act and FCC rules and policies. Management believes the Company is in substantial compliance with all applicable provisions of the Communications Act and FCC rules and policies and knows of no reason why Meredith’s broadcast station licenses will not be renewed.

The FCC has, on occasion, changed the rules related to ownership of media assets, including rules relating to the ownership of one or more television stations in a market. The FCC’s media ownership rules are subject to further review by the FCC, various court appeals, petitions for reconsideration before the FCC, and possible actions by Congress. We cannot predict the impact of any of these developments on our business.

The Communications Act and the FCC also regulate relationships between television broadcasters and cable, satellite, and telecommunications television providers. Under these provisions, most cable systems must devote a specified portion of their channel capacity to the carriage of the signals of local television stations that elect to exercise this right to mandatory carriage. Alternatively, television stations may elect to restrict cable systems from carrying their signals without their written permission, which is referred to as retransmission consent. Congress and the FCC have established and implemented generally similar market-specific requirements for mandatory carriage of local television stations by satellite television providers when those providers choose to provide a market’s local television signals and grants of retransmission consent to satellite television providers. These rules, including existing related rules on exclusivity and good faith bargaining, and proposed rules governing “over-the-top” carriage by Internet video programming distributors are subject to further review by the FCC and possible actions by Congress. Carriage of local television stations by multichannel video programming distributors is also governed by U.S. copyright law, including the Copyright Act of 1976, as amended, which is subject to revision by Congress and interpretation by the courts. We cannot predict further changes in the laws or rules governing these relationships or the impact of any such developments on our business.

The FCC proposed a plan, called the National Broadband Plan, to increase the amount of spectrum available in the U.S. for wireless broadband use. In furtherance of the National Broadband Plan, Congress authorized the FCC to

10



conduct a “reverse auction” for which television broadcast licensees could submit bids to receive compensation in return for relinquishing all or a portion of their rights in the television spectrum of their full service and/or Class A stations. Under the law, the FCC was permitted to hold one reverse auction and a follow-up auction for the newly freed spectrum. The FCC completed both auctions in calendar year 2017.

Even if a television licensee did not participate in the reverse auction, Congress granted the FCC the authority to force a television station to change channels and/or modify its coverage area to allow the FCC to rededicate certain channels within the television band for wireless broadband use. Following the incentive auction, the FCC released a list of television stations that were required to change their facilities by a specified date as part of this “repacking” process. Several of our stations were among the hundreds of stations selected for repacking of the television band. All our stations selected for repacking completed their move and commenced operations on their new channels on or before the FCC’s deadline. The FCC reimburses us for certain repacking expenses subject to an overall industry cap on the reimbursed expenses of all repacked television stations and certain other entities. We cannot predict whether we will receive full reimbursement for our repacking expenses or how this process will ultimately affect the broadcast television industry, the Company, or our television stations.

Congress, certain States, and the FCC have under consideration, and in the future may adopt, new laws, regulations, and policies regarding a wide variety of other matters that also could affect, directly or indirectly, the operation, ownership transferability, and profitability of the Company’s broadcast stations and affect the ability of the Company to acquire additional stations. In addition to the matters noted above, these could include, among other things, spectrum usage fees, regulation of political advertising rates, restrictions on the advertising of certain products (such as pharmaceuticals, alcoholic beverages, or gambling), program content restrictions, and ownership rule changes.

Other matters that could potentially affect the Company’s broadcast properties include, but are not limited to, technological innovations and developments generally affecting competition in the mass communications industry for viewers or advertisers, such as home video recording devices and players, satellite radio and television services, cable television systems, newspapers, outdoor advertising, and internet-delivered video programming services. For example, the FCC approved a proposal to allow the voluntary transition of television broadcasters to ATSC 3.0, known as Next Generation Television. We cannot predict whether or how this process will ultimately affect the Company or our television stations.

Large mass communication transactions have also increased the scrutiny of federal and state antitrust enforcement on the mass communications industry. The Company, along with other major broadcasters, is subject to a Consent Decree with the U.S. Department of Justice entered in 2019 restricting the exchange of pacing and other information between stations. In entering the Consent Decree, the Company did not admit liability and was not required to pay any fine or other penalty. We cannot predict whether or how this Consent Decree will ultimately affect the broadcast industry, the Company, or our television stations.

The information provided in this section is not intended to be inclusive of all regulatory provisions currently in effect. Statutory provisions and FCC regulations are subject to change, and any such changes could affect future operations and profitability of the Company’s local media segment. Management cannot predict what regulations or legislation may be adopted, nor can management estimate the effect any such changes would have on the Company’s television broadcasting operations.


INFORMATION ABOUT OUR EXECUTIVE OFFICERS

Executive officers are elected to one-year terms each November. The current executive officers of the Company are:

Thomas H. Harty—President and Chief Executive Officer (2018 - present) and a director of the Company since 2017. Formerly President and Chief Operating Officer (2016 - 2018) and President, National Media Group (2010 - 2016). Age 57.

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Patrick J. McCreery—President, Local Media Group (2018 - present). Formerly Local Media Group Executive Vice President (2018), and Vice President of News and Marketing (2014 - 2018). Age 49.

Jason M. Frierott—Chief Financial Officer (2020). Prior to joining Meredith, Mr. Frierott served as Chief Financial Officer of Wabtec Freight, a segment of Wabtec Corporation (2019). Before Wabtec Corporation acquired GE Transportation, a business unit of General Electric Company, Mr. Frierott served as GE Transportation’s Chief Financial Officer (2015 - 2019). Age 46.

John S. Zieser—Chief Development Officer/General Counsel and Secretary (2006 - present). Age 61.


EMPLOYEES

As of June 30, 2020, the Company had approximately 5,290 full-time and 80 part-time employees, of whom approximately 4,990 were located in the United States, approximately 375 in India, and approximately 5 in other locations. Only a small percentage of our workforce is unionized. We have various arrangements with our international employees that we believe to be customary for multinational corporations. We have had no strikes or work stoppages during the last five years and consider relations with our employees to be good.


OTHER

Name recognition and the public image of the Company’s trademarks (e.g., People, Better Homes & Gardens, Parents) and television station call letters are vital to the success of our ongoing operations and to the introduction of new businesses. The Company protects our brands by aggressively defending our trademarks and call letters.

The Company had no material expenses for research and development during the past three fiscal years. Revenues from individual customers and revenues, operating profits, and identifiable assets of foreign operations were not significant. Compliance with federal, state, and local provisions relating to the discharge of materials into the environment and to the protection of the environment had no material effect on capital expenditures, earnings, or the Company’s competitive position.


AVAILABLE INFORMATION

The Company’s corporate website at meredith.com and our Investor Relations website at ir.meredith.com contain a significant amount of information about Meredith, including financial and other information for investors. Meredith encourages investors to visit these websites from time to time, as information is updated and new information is posted. Additional information on non-financial matters, including environmental and social matters and diversity and inclusion initiatives, is available at www.meredith.com/about-us/corporate-social-responsibility. Website references in this report are provided as a convenience and do not constitute, and should not be viewed as, incorporation by reference of the information contained on, or available through, the websites. Therefore, such information should not be considered part of this report.

Meredith makes available free of charge through our website our Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports filed or furnished to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 as soon as reasonably practical after such documents are electronically filed with or furnished to the SEC. Additionally, the SEC maintains an internet site that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information. The address of the SEC’s website is www.sec.gov. Meredith also makes available on our website our corporate governance information, including charters of all our Board Committees, our Corporate Governance Guidelines, our Code of Ethics, and our Bylaws. Copies of such documents are also available free of charge upon written request.

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FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This Form 10-K, including the sections titled Item 1-Business, Item 1A-Risk Factors, and Item 7-Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, contains forward-looking statements that relate to future events or our future financial performance. We may also make written and oral forward-looking statements in our SEC filings and elsewhere. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risks, trends, and uncertainties that could result in actual results that are materially different than those anticipated in any forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to, those items described in Item 1A-Risk Factors, those identified elsewhere in this document, and other risks and factors identified from time to time in our SEC filings. We have tried, where possible, to identify such statements by using words such as believe, expect, intend, estimate, may, anticipate, will, likely, project, plan, and similar expressions in connection with any discussion of future operating or financial performance. Any forward-looking statements are and will be based upon our then-current expectations, estimates, and assumptions regarding future events and are applicable only as of the dates of such statements. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements that are part of this filing; actual results may differ materially from those currently anticipated. Such risk factors may be amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic and its potential impact on the Company’s business and the global economy. The Company undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.



ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS


In addition to the other information contained or incorporated by reference into this Form 10-K, investors should consider the following risk factors carefully when investing in our securities. In addition to the risks described below, there may be additional risks that we have not yet perceived or that we currently believe are immaterial.

Risks Relating to Business Operations

The effects of the recent outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic have had and may continue to have an adverse impact on our business, financial condition, operations, and prospects. The COVID-19 pandemic is having widespread, rapidly evolving, and unpredictable impacts on global society, economies, financial markets, and business practices. Federal and state governments have implemented measures in an effort to contain the virus, including social distancing, travel restrictions, border closures, limitations on public gatherings, work from home policies, supply chain logistical changes, and closure of non-essential businesses. To protect the health and well-being of our employees, suppliers, and customers, we have made substantial modifications to employee travel policies, implemented office closures as employees are advised to work from home, and canceled or shifted our marketing events to virtual-only.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted and may continue to impact our business operations, including our employees, customers, partners, and communities. There is substantial uncertainty as to the nature and degree of the continued effects of the pandemic over time. Our business, financial condition, operations, and prospects have been and may continue to be adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has adversely impacted our advertising and marketing partners, consumers, and the markets in which we operate.


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While the ultimate potential impact and duration of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy and our business, in particular, may be difficult to assess or predict, to date the pandemic has resulted in and may continue to result in significant disruption of aspects of our business. For example, we have experienced advertising cancellations and delays across our business as well as declines in our newsstand sales, resulting in an adverse impact on our revenues. In addition, we may experience unfavorable impacts on our operations as a result of COVID-19, including, but not limited to, the following:

We may in the future experience significant reductions or volatility in demand for one or more of our products, which may be caused by, among other things: the temporary inability of consumers to purchase our products due to illness, quarantine or other travel restrictions, or financial hardship, shifts in demand away from one or more of our products; if prolonged, such impacts may further increase the difficulty of planning for operations and may negatively impact our results;
We may in the future experience significant reductions in the availability of one or more of our products as a result of retailers or shippers modifying restocking, fulfillment, and shipping practices;
We may in the future be unable to meet our customers’ needs and achieve cost targets due to disruptions in our manufacturing operations or supply arrangements caused by the loss or disruption of essential manufacturing and supply elements such as raw materials or finished product components, transportation resources, workforce availability, or other manufacturing and distribution capability;
We may in the future be unable to effectively manage evolving health and welfare strategies, including, but not limited to, ongoing or not yet fully known costs related to operational adjustments to ensure continued employee and consumer safety and adherence to health guidelines as they are modified and supplemented;
We may in the future be impacted by the failure of third parties on which we rely, including those third parties who print our magazines, supply necessary operating materials, distributors, contractors, commercial banks, and external business partners, to meet their obligations to the Company, or significant disruptions in their ability to do so, which may be caused by their own financial or operational difficulties and may negatively impact our operations; and
We may in the future be impacted by significant changes in the political conditions in markets in which we sell or distribute our products, including quarantines, governmental or regulatory actions, closures, or other restrictions that restrict our employees’ ability to travel or perform necessary business functions, or otherwise prevent our third-party partners, suppliers, or customers from sufficiently staffing operations, including operations necessary for the production, distribution, sale, and support of our products, which could negatively impact our results.

As a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business to date and the continuing uncertainty related to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have paused our common and class B stock dividends, implemented a series of operational cost-control measures, including temporary reductions in Board of Director fees and employee and executive salaries, and have taken steps to significantly reduce capital expenditures and optimize working capital. We may need to take further actions to ensure the continuity of our business. In addition, due to market volatility and material declines in equity prices, we recorded material non-cash impairment charges related to certain indefinite-lived intangible assets, including goodwill, trademarks, and FCC broadcast licenses.

The extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic impacts our business going forward will depend on numerous evolving factors we cannot reliably predict, including the duration and scope of the pandemic; governmental, business, and individuals’ actions in response to the pandemic; and the impact on economic activity, including the possibility of recession or financial market instability. These factors may adversely impact consumer, business, and government spending as well as customers’ ability to pay for our products and services on an ongoing basis. This uncertainty also affects management’s accounting estimates and assumptions, which could result in greater variability in a variety of areas that depend on these estimates and assumptions. Even after the COVID-19 outbreak has subsided, we may continue to experience significant impacts to our business as a result of its global economic impact, including any economic downturn or recession that has occurred or may occur in the future. The COVID-19 pandemic may also have the effect of heightening other risks identified in this section of our Form 10-K.


14



The Company previously identified material weaknesses in its internal control over financial reporting, which have now been remediated. Any failure to maintain effective internal control over financial reporting could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business, results of operations, financial condition, and/or cash flows. The Company previously disclosed in its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended June 30, 2019, two material weaknesses in its internal control over financial reporting. As a result of these control deficiencies, the Company concluded that its internal control over financial reporting was not effective for the year ended June 30, 2019. During fiscal 2020, the Company completed a series of actions and measures that remediated the previously disclosed material weaknesses and concluded that as of June 30, 2020, its internal control over financial reporting was effective. See Item 9A-Controls and Procedures of this Form 10-K.

Maintaining effective disclosure controls and procedures and effective internal control over financial reporting are necessary for us to produce reliable consolidated financial statements. The Company cannot provide assurances that material weaknesses or significant deficiencies will not occur in the future and that it will be able to remediate such weaknesses or deficiencies in a timely manner, which could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business, prospects, results of operations, financial condition, and/or cash flows. The development of new material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting could result in material misstatements in our consolidated financial statements and cause us to fail to meet our reporting and financial obligations, which in turn could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and the trading price of our common stock, and/or result in litigation against us. In addition, even though we have strengthened our controls and procedures, those controls and procedures may not be adequate to prevent or identify irregularities or facilitate the fair presentation of our consolidated financial statements or our periodic reports filed with the SEC.

Advertising related revenues represent the largest portion of our revenues, and advertising demand may fluctuate from period to period. In fiscal 2020, 49 percent of our revenues were derived from advertising related sources. Advertising related revenues constitute 48 percent of our national media revenues and 53 percent of our local media revenues. Demand for advertising is highly dependent upon the strength of the U.S. economy. During an economic downturn, demand for advertising may decrease. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, some of our advertising and marketing partners have faced tremendous challenges, which has impacted Meredith. As a result, during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020, Meredith saw cancellations and delays in advertising campaigns, with significant declines in local television non-political advertising, digital advertising, and print advertising revenues. While the Company is not able to estimate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on revenues into fiscal 2021, we expect to continue to see cancellations and delays in advertising into at least early fiscal 2021, which could similarly reduce our net earnings. We do not know when advertising conditions will improve or return to historical levels. In addition, political advertising revenues are cyclical in that they are significantly greater during biennial election campaigns (which take place primarily in odd-numbered fiscal years) than at other times. The growth in alternative forms of media, particularly digital platforms, has increased the competition for advertising dollars, which could, in turn, reduce expenditures for magazine and television advertising or suppress advertising rates.

Circulation revenues represent a significant portion of our revenues. Magazine circulation is another significant source of revenue, representing 27 percent of total revenues and 37 percent of national media revenues in fiscal 2020. Preserving the number of copies sold is critical for maintaining advertising sales. Magazines face increasing competition from alternative forms of media and entertainment. As a result, sales of magazines through subscriptions and at the newsstand could decline. As publishers compete for subscribers, subscription prices could decrease and marketing expenditures may increase. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, shelter-in-place and business closing orders as well as significant declines in travel have impacted Meredith. As a result, during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020, Meredith saw reductions in newsstand sales. While the Company is not able to estimate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on revenues into fiscal 2021, we expect to continue to see declines in newsstand sales into at least early fiscal 2021, which could similarly reduce our net earnings.

Technology in the media industry continues to evolve rapidly. Advances in technology have led to an increasing number of alternative methods for the delivery of content and have driven consumer demand and expectations in unanticipated directions. If we are unable to exploit new and existing technologies to distinguish our products and services from those of our competitors or adapt to new distribution methods that provide optimal user experiences,

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our business, financial condition, and prospects may be adversely affected. Technology developments also pose other challenges that could adversely affect our revenues and competitive position. New delivery platforms may lead to pricing restrictions, the loss of distribution control, and the loss of a direct relationship with consumers. For example, the largest broadcast television national networks have brought a copyright infringement lawsuit against Locast, an entity that claims to be a non-profit and claims to have found a loophole allowing for uncompensated online streaming of copyrighted television content. We may also be adversely affected if the use of technology developed to block the display of advertising on websites proliferates. In addition, technologies such as subscription streaming media services and mobile video are increasing competition for household audiences and advertisers. This competition may make it difficult for us to grow or maintain our broadcasting and print revenues, which we believe may challenge us to expand the contribution of our digital businesses.

Our websites and internal networks may be vulnerable to unauthorized persons accessing our systems, which could disrupt our operations. The Company uses computers and other technology in substantially all aspects of our business operations, and our revenues are increasingly dependent on digital products. Such increases expose us to potential cyber incidents resulting from deliberate attacks or unintentional events. Our website activities involve the storage and transmission of proprietary information, which we strive to protect from unauthorized access. However, it is possible that unauthorized persons may be able to circumvent our protections and misappropriate proprietary information, corrupt data, or cause interruptions or malfunctions in our digital operations. The results of these incidents could include, but are not limited to, business interruption, public disclosure of nonpublic information, decreased advertising revenues, misstated financial data, liability for stolen assets or information, increased cybersecurity protection costs, litigation, financial consequences, and reputational damage adversely affecting customer or investor confidence, any or all of which could adversely affect our business. We invest in security resources and technology to protect our data and business processes against risk of data security breaches and cyber-attack, but the techniques used to attempt attacks are continually changing. A breach or successful attack could have a negative impact on our operations or business reputation.

Evolving privacy and information security laws and regulations may impair our ability to market to consumers. Meredith’s consumer database includes first-party data that is used to market our products to our customers. In select circumstances, we share this first-party data with advertising and marketing clients and partners. As public awareness increases and shifts to data gathering and usage, privacy rights, and data protection, new laws and regulations may be passed or existing laws and regulations may be amended in ways that would limit our collection and use of certain categories of data. Congress, the Federal Trade Commission, and state attorneys general continue to initiate investigations into the collection and use of consumer data, often with a focus on the advertising industry. These investigations could lead to new transparency requirements, consumer controls, and other restrictions, and require ongoing review of new technologies and methods for delivering content and advertising to ensure that all new products and advertising services comply with all of the regulatory requirements imposed at the state, federal, and international level. In addition to the changing regulatory landscape, new privacy controls implemented by platforms such as Facebook, Google, and Apple will limit our ability to access and use data from consumers through those platforms, which we rely on for both digital advertising and mobile marketing.

Currently, we must comply with increasingly complex and rigorous, and sometimes conflicting, regulatory standards enacted to protect business and personal data in the U.S., Europe, and elsewhere. For example, the European Union (E.U.) adopted the General Data Protection Regulation (the GDPR), which became effective on May 25, 2018; and California passed the California Consumer Privacy Act (the CCPA), which became effective on January 1, 2020. These laws impose additional obligations on companies regarding the handling of personal data and provide certain individual privacy rights to persons whose data is processed. If we do not comply with our obligations under the GDPR, we could be exposed to fines and penalties, which under the GDPR could be as high as the greater of €20 million or 4 percent of our total global annual revenue in the event of a significant breach. In addition, we may be the subject of litigation or adverse publicity, which could negatively affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations. Similarly, the CCPA provides for civil penalties for violations, as well as a private right of action for data breaches that is expected to increase data breach litigation.


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Additionally, legal challenges in Europe to the mechanisms allowing companies to transfer personal data from the European Economic Area (EEA) to the U.S. could result in further limitations on the ability to transfer personal data across borders, particularly if governments are unable or unwilling to reach new or maintain existing agreements that support cross-border data transfers. Specifically, on July 16, 2020, the Court of Justice of the E.U. invalidated Decision 2016/1250 on the adequacy of the protection provided by the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework. We are certified under the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework but will not be able to rely on it in the future, which could increase our costs and limit our ability to process personal data from the E.U. The same decision also casts doubt on the ability to use one of the primary alternatives to the Privacy Shield, namely, the European Commission’s Standard Contractual Clauses, to lawfully transfer personal data from Europe to the U.S. and most other countries. At present, there are few, if any, viable alternatives to the Privacy Shield and the Standard Contractual Clauses. Further, the U.K.’s impending exit from the E.U., commonly referred to as Brexit, has created uncertainty with regard to data protection regulation in the United Kingdom (U.K.), including with respect to data transfers from the EEA to the U.K.

Compliance with existing, proposed, and recently enacted laws (including implementation of the privacy and process enhancements called for under GDPR and CCPA) and regulations can be costly and time consuming, and any failure to comply with these regulatory standards could subject us to legal and reputational risks. In addition, all 50 states have security breach notification laws that generally require a business to give notice to consumers and (in some cases) government agencies when certain information has been accessed or acquired by an unauthorized party due to a security breach.

Misuse of or failure to secure personal information could result in violation of data privacy laws and regulations, proceedings against the Company by governmental entities or others, imposition of fines by governmental authorities, and damage to our reputation and credibility and could have a negative impact on revenues and profits.

World events may result in unexpected adverse operating results for our local media segment. Our local media results have been and in the future could again be affected adversely by world events such as wars, political unrest, acts of terrorism, pandemics, and natural disasters. Such events can result in significant declines in advertising revenues as the stations will not broadcast or will limit broadcasting of commercials during times of crisis. In addition, our stations may have higher newsgathering costs related to coverage of the events.

Our local media operations are subject to FCC regulation. Our broadcasting stations operate under licenses granted by the FCC. The FCC regulates many aspects of television station operations, including employment practices, political advertising, indecency and obscenity, programming, signal carriage, and various other technical matters. Violations of these regulations could result in penalties and fines. Changes in these regulations could impact the results of our operations. The FCC also regulates the ownership of television stations. Changes in the ownership rules could adversely affect our ability to consummate future transactions or may favor our competitors. Details regarding regulation and its impact on our local media operations are provided in Item 1-Business beginning on page 10.

Loss of or changes in affiliation agreements could adversely affect operating results for our local media segment. Further, our retransmission consent revenue may be adversely affected by renewals of retransmission consent agreements or by declines in the number of subscribers to multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD) services. Due to the quality of the programming provided by the networks, stations that are affiliated with a network generally have higher ratings than unaffiliated independent stations in the same market. As a result, it is important for stations to maintain their network affiliations. Most of our stations have network affiliation agreements. Seven are affiliated with CBS, five with FOX, two with MyNetworkTV, one with NBC, and one with ABC. These television networks produce and distribute programming in exchange for each of our stations’ commitment to air the programming at specified times and for commercial announcement time during the programming. We also make cash payments to the networks. These payments are, in essence, a portion of the retransmission consent fees that Meredith receives from cable, satellite, and telecommunications service providers, which pay Meredith to carry our television programming in our markets. These network relationships may also include terms regarding over-the-top distribution. The non-renewal or termination of any of our network affiliation

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agreements would prevent us from being able to carry programming of the affiliate network. This loss of programming would require us to obtain replacement programming, which may involve higher costs and/or which may not be as attractive to our audiences, resulting in reduced revenues.

Furthermore, the loss of or material reduction in retransmission consent revenues or further change in the current retransmission consent regulations could adversely affect the economics of our relationship with the applicable network(s), advertising revenues, and our local brands. Specifically, our retransmission consent revenue may be adversely affected by renewals, non-renewals, or renewals on less favorable terms of retransmission consent agreements, declines in the number of subscribers to MVPD services, or by new technologies for the distribution of video programming. In recent years, the number of subscribers to MVPD services has declined as the growth of direct internet streaming of video programming to televisions and mobile devices has led consumers to discontinue their cable or satellite service subscriptions. As most retransmission consent agreements include payment terms by subscriber numbers, reductions in the number of MVPD subscribers reduces the revenue we earn under our retransmission agreements.

If renewed, our network affiliation agreements and our retransmission agreements may be renewed on terms that are less favorable to us. Our FOX affiliation agreements expire in July 2022. Our MyNetworkTV affiliation agreements expire in September 2022. Our NBC affiliation agreement expires in December 2021 and our ABC affiliation agreement expires in August 2023. Our CBS affiliation agreements expire in July 2023.

Client relationships are important to our brand licensing and consumer relationship marketing businesses. Our ability to maintain existing client relationships and generate new clients depends significantly on the quality of our products and services, our reputation, and the continuity of Company and client personnel. Dissatisfaction with our products and services, damage to our reputation, or changes in key personnel could result in a loss of business.

Increases in paper and postage prices, which are difficult to predict and control, could adversely affect our results of operations. Paper and postage represent significant components of our total cost to produce, distribute, and market our printed products. In fiscal 2020, these expenses accounted for 14 percent of national media’s operating costs. Paper is a commodity and its price can be subject to significant volatility. All our paper supply contracts currently provide for price adjustments based on prevailing market prices; however, we historically have been able to realize favorable paper pricing through volume discounts. The USPS distributes substantially all our subscription magazines and many of our marketing materials. Postal rates are dependent on the operating efficiency of the USPS and on legislative mandates imposed upon the USPS. Although we work with others in the industry and through trade organizations to encourage the USPS to implement efficiencies that will minimize rate increases, we cannot predict with certainty the magnitude of future price changes for paper and postage. Further, we may not be able to pass such increases on to our customers.

We are currently reliant on a single supplier for printing of our magazines. All our magazine printing is performed by the only domestic supplier capable of producing the entirety of our work. Failure by such supplier to provide printing services to us, or any disruption in such services, may adversely impact our business. We may incur increased business disruption risk due to the dependence on a single supplier. If this supplier experienced business difficulties or failed to meet our printing needs, then we may be unable to satisfy customer product demands, lose revenues, and be unable to maintain customer relationships. Longer production lead times and increased paper and postage costs may result if there is a need to move the printing to multiple other suppliers. Without such single supplier continuing to print our magazines, we may have no other means of producing our magazines until we are able to secure printing capabilities at multiple other facilities. This transition could be costly and time consuming.

Acquisitions pose inherent financial and other risks and challenges. As a part of our strategic plan, we have acquired businesses and we expect to continue acquiring businesses in the future. These acquisitions can involve a number of risks and challenges, any of which could cause significant operating inefficiencies and adversely affect our growth and profitability. Such risks and challenges include underperformance relative to our expectations and the price paid for the acquisition; unanticipated demands on our management and operational resources; difficulty

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in integrating personnel, operations, and systems; retention of customers of the combined businesses; assumption of contingent liabilities; and acquisition-related earnings charges. If our acquisitions are not successful, we may record impairment charges. Our ability to continue to make acquisitions will depend upon our success at identifying suitable targets, which requires substantial judgment in assessing their values, strengths, weaknesses, liabilities, and potential profitability, as well as the availability of suitable candidates at acceptable prices and whether restrictions are imposed by regulations. Moreover, competition for certain types of acquisitions is significant, particularly in the fields of broadcast stations and digital media. Even if successfully negotiated, closed, and integrated, certain acquisitions may not advance our business strategy and may fall short of expected return on investment targets.

Impairment of goodwill and intangible assets is possible, depending upon future operating results and the value of the Company’s stock. Although the Company wrote down its goodwill and intangible assets by $301.4 million in fiscal 2020, $41.8 million in fiscal 2019, and $22.7 million in fiscal 2018, further impairment charges are possible. We test our goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets for impairment during the fourth quarter of every fiscal year and on an interim basis if indicators of impairment exist. Factors that influence the evaluation include, among many things, the Company’s stock price and expected future operating results. If the carrying value of a reporting unit or an intangible asset is no longer deemed to be recoverable, a potentially material non-cash impairment charge could be incurred. At June 30, 2020, goodwill and intangible assets totaled $3.4 billion, or 61 percent of Meredith’s total assets, with $2.6 billion in the national media segment and $0.8 billion in the local media segment. The review of goodwill is performed at the reporting unit level. The Company has two reporting units – national media and local media. During the third quarter of fiscal 2020, the Company determined that interim triggering events, including declines in the price of its stock and the economic downturn caused by COVID-19, required an interim evaluation of goodwill and intangible assets not subject to amortization for impairment as of March 31, 2020. The impairment tests determined the carrying value of goodwill and certain intangible assets in the national media reporting unit exceeded their estimated fair value. As a result, the Company recorded a non-cash impairment charge of $252.7 million to reduce the carrying value of goodwill in the national media reporting unit to its fair value. During fiscal 2020, the national media segment also recorded non-cash impairment charges of $26.4 million to partially impair certain trademarks and the local media segment recorded a non-cash impairment charge of $22.3 million to partially impair an FCC license. Changes in key assumptions about the economy or business prospects used to estimate fair value or other changes in market conditions could result in additional impairment charges. Although these charges would be non-cash in nature and would not affect the Company’s operations or cash flow, they would reduce stockholders’ equity and reported results of operations in the period charged. Additionally, as goodwill and intangible assets of the national media reporting unit were written down to their estimated fair values as of March 31, 2020, those amounts are more susceptible to risk of impairment if business operating results or macroeconomic conditions deteriorate.

Adverse litigation judgments or settlements resulting from legal proceedings in which we are currently and, in the future, may be involved could expose us to monetary damages or limit our ability to operate our business. We are currently involved in and may in the future become involved in private actions, collective actions, investigations, and various other legal proceedings by clients, employees, suppliers, competitors, government agencies, or others. For example, on September 6, 2019, a shareholder filed a putative class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against the Company, its Chief Executive Officer, and its Chief Financial Officer, seeking to represent a class of shareholders who acquired securities of the Company between May 10, 2018, and September 4, 2019 (the New York Action). On September 12, 2019, a shareholder filed a putative class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa against the Company, its Chief Executive Officer, its Chief Financial Officer, and its Chairman of the Board seeking to represent a class of shareholders who acquired securities of the Company between January 31, 2018, and September 5, 2019 (the Iowa Action). Both complaints allege that the defendants made materially false and/or misleading statements and failed to disclose material adverse facts about the Company’s business, operations, and prospects. Both complaints assert claims under the federal securities laws and seek unspecified monetary damages and other relief. On November 12, 2019, the plaintiff shareholder withdrew the New York Action, and the action has been dismissed. On November 25, 2019, the City of Plantation Police Officers Pension Fund was appointed to serve as lead plaintiff in the Iowa Action. On March 9, 2020, the lead plaintiff filed an amended complaint in the Iowa Action, now seeking to represent a class of shareholders who acquired securities of the Company between January 31, 2018, and

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September 30, 2019. The defendants intend to vigorously oppose the Iowa Action. On June 22, 2020, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss the Iowa Action. Under the court’s scheduling order, it appears likely the Company will receive a decision on the motion sometime in late 2020 or 2021. Until then, discovery is stayed. The results of any such litigation, including the aforementioned class action lawsuits, investigations, and other legal proceedings are inherently unpredictable and expensive. Any claims against us, whether meritorious or not, could be time consuming, result in costly litigation, damage our reputation, require significant amounts of management time, and divert significant resources. If any of these legal proceedings were to be determined adversely to us, or we were to enter into a settlement arrangement, we could be exposed to monetary damages or limits on our ability to operate our business, which could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and operating results.

We have two classes of stock outstanding with different voting rights. We have two classes of stock outstanding: common stock and class B stock. Holders of common stock are entitled to one vote per share and account for 44 percent of the voting power. Holders of class B stock are entitled to ten votes per share and account for the remaining 56 percent of the voting power. There are restrictions on who can own class B stock. Members of Meredith’s founding family hold the majority of class B shares. Control by a limited number of holders may make the Company a less attractive takeover target, which could adversely affect the market price of our common stock. This voting control also prevents other shareholders from exercising significant influence over certain of the Company’s business decisions.

Adverse changes in the equity markets or interest rates, changes in actuarial assumptions, and legislative or other regulatory actions could substantially increase our U.K. pension costs and could result in a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations. Through one of our U.K. subsidiaries acquired with the acquisition of Time, the Company sponsors the IPC Media Pension Scheme (the IPC Plan), a defined benefit pension plan that is closed both to new participants and to the future accrual of additional benefits for current participants. The majority of pensions in payment and deferred pensions in excess of any guaranteed minimum pension are increased annually in line with the increase in the retail price index up to a maximum of 5 percent. Concurrently with the acquisition of Time, the Company was substituted for Time as the guarantor of all obligations of the statutory employers under the IPC Plan.

The most recent triennial valuation of the IPC Plan under U.K. pension regulations was completed as of April 5, 2018. Under the assumptions used in such valuation, which are more conservative than the assumptions used to determine a pension plan’s funded status in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the U.S. (U.S. GAAP), the IPC Plan was deemed to be underfunded at that time by approximately £59 million.

Under the current deed of guarantee, the Company would be obligated to fund the IPC Plan’s “buyout deficit” (i.e., the amount that would be needed to purchase annuities to discharge the benefits under the plan) under certain circumstances. Specifically, the Company would be required to deposit the buyout deficit into escrow if its debt in excess of $50 million were not to be paid when due or were to come due prior to its stated maturity as a result of a default (a Major Debt Acceleration) or if a Covenant Breach were to occur (as described below). The Company would be permitted to recoup the escrowed funds under certain circumstances. However, if the Company, as the sponsor, was to become insolvent, or if a Major Debt Acceleration were to occur (without being promptly cured), any escrowed funds would be immediately contributed into the IPC Plan, and the Company would be obligated to immediately contribute into the IPC Plan any shortfall in the buyout deficit amount.

In connection with the completion of the sale of all issued shares of Time Inc. (UK) Ltd (TIUK) on March 15, 2018, and the substitution of another U.K. subsidiary of the Company as the sole sponsor under the IPC Plan, the deed of guarantee was amended to remove requirements to deposit the buyout deficit as a result of certain credit rating triggers. At the same time, the Company agreed that the same subsidiaries of the Company that guarantee the Company’s initial $1.4 billion aggregate principal amount of 6.875 percent unsecured senior notes (2026 Unsecured Senior Notes) would guarantee the obligations of the Company under the IPC Plan on a pari passu basis with the obligations under the 2026 Unsecured Senior Notes. In addition, the Company agreed to incorporate the terms of certain covenants under the indenture governing the 2026 Unsecured Senior Notes into the amended deed of guarantee effective as of March 15, 2018. If a breach of such covenants by the Company or the subsidiary

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guarantors occurs (after certain notice and cure periods) (a Covenant Breach), the Company would be required to deposit the buyout deficit (less the amount of certain types of security in favor of the IPC Plan, currently provided in the form of a surety bond) into escrow as described above.

If the Company had been required to fund the buyout deficit on June 30, 2020, the amount would have been approximately £93 million. The amount of the buyout deficit changes daily and is determined by many factors, including changes in the fair value of the IPC Plan assets and liabilities and interest rates.

It is possible that, following future valuations of the IPC Plan’s assets and liabilities or following future discussions with the IPC Plan trustee, the annual funding obligation and/or the arrangements to ensure adequate funding for the IPC Plan will change. The future valuations under the IPC Plan can be affected by a number of assumptions and factors, including legislative changes; assumptions regarding interest rates, currency rates, inflation, mortality, and retirement rates; the investment strategy and performance of the IPC Plan assets; and (in certain limited circumstances) actions by the U.K. Pensions Regulator. Volatile economic conditions, including Brexit, could increase the risk that the funding requirements increase following the next triennial valuation. The U.K. Pensions Regulator also has powers under the Pensions Act 2004 to impose a contribution notice or a financial support direction on the Company (and other persons connected with the Company or the U.K. subsidiary which sponsors the IPC Plan) if, in the case of a contribution notice, the U.K. Pensions Regulator reasonably believes such person has been party to an act, or deliberate failure to act, intended to avoid pension liabilities or that is materially detrimental to the pension plan, or, in the case of a financial support direction, if a plan employer is a service company or insufficiently resourced and the Pensions Regulator considers it is reasonable to act against such a person. A significant increase in the funding requirements for the IPC Plan or in the calculated “self-sufficiency deficit” or the calculated “risk-free self-sufficiency deficit” could result in a material adverse effect on its business, financial condition, and results of operations.

Risks Relating to Indebtedness

Our substantial level of indebtedness and our ability to incur significant additional indebtedness could adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations. Our level of indebtedness could have important consequences. For example, it could:

increase our vulnerability to general adverse economic and industry conditions;
limit our ability to obtain additional financing to fund future working capital, capital expenditures, and other general corporate requirements or to carry out other aspects of our business;
increase our cost of borrowing;
make it more difficult for us to satisfy our obligations with respect to our debt;
require us to dedicate a substantial portion of our cash flow from operations to payments on indebtedness, thereby reducing the availability of such cash flow to fund working capital, capital expenditures, and other general corporate requirements or to carry out other aspects of our business;
limit our ability to make material acquisitions or take advantage of business opportunities that may arise;
expose us to fluctuations in interest rates, to the extent our borrowings bear variable rates of interest;
limit our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our business and industry;
limit our ability to pay dividends;
place us at a potential disadvantage compared to our competitors that have less debt; and
affect our credit ratings.

Our ability to make scheduled payments on and to refinance our indebtedness will depend on and be subject to our future financial and operating performance, which in turn is affected by general economic, financial, competitive, business, and other factors beyond our control, including the availability of financing in the banking and capital markets. Our business may fail to generate sufficient cash flow from operations or borrow funds in an amount sufficient to enable us to make payments on our debt, to refinance our debt, or to fund our other liquidity needs. If we were unable to make payments on or refinance our debt or obtain new financing under these circumstances, we would have to consider other options, such as asset sales, equity issuances, or negotiations with our lenders to

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restructure the applicable debt. The terms of our debt agreements and market or business conditions may limit our ability to take some or all of these actions. In addition, if we incur additional debt, the related risks described above could be exacerbated.

Our indebtedness subjects us to interest rate risk, which could cause our debt service obligations to increase significantly or could prevent us from taking advantage of lower rates. A portion of our indebtedness consists of term loans and revolving credit facility borrowings with variable rates of interest that expose us to interest rate risk. If interest rates increase, our debt service obligations on the variable rate indebtedness will increase even though the amount borrowed remains the same, and our net earnings and cash flows will correspondingly decrease. Even if we enter into interest rate swaps in the future to reduce future interest rate volatility, we may not elect to maintain such interest rate swaps with respect to any of our variable rate indebtedness, and any swaps we enter into may not fully mitigate our interest rate risk. In addition, we have significant fixed-rate indebtedness that includes prepayment penalties, which could prevent us from taking advantage of any future decrease in interest rates that may otherwise be applicable to us.

To service our indebtedness, we will require a significant amount of cash and our ability to generate cash depends on many factors beyond our control. Our ability to make cash payments on and to refinance our indebtedness and to fund planned capital expenditures will depend on our ability to generate significant operating cash flow in the future. Our ability to generate such cash flow is subject to general economic, financial, competitive, legislative, regulatory, and other factors that are beyond our control.

Our business may not generate cash flow from operations in an amount sufficient to enable us to pay the principal, premium, if any, and interest on our indebtedness, or to fund our other liquidity needs. If we cannot service our indebtedness, we may have to take actions such as refinancing or restructuring our indebtedness, selling assets, issuing equity, or reducing or delaying capital expenditures, strategic acquisitions, and investments. These actions, if necessary, may not be affected on commercially reasonable terms or at all. Our ability to refinance or restructure our debt will depend on the condition of the capital markets and our financial condition at the applicable time. Any refinancing of our debt, if we are able to refinance our debt at all, could be at higher interest rates and may require us to comply with more onerous covenants, which could further restrict our business operations. Further, the credit agreement that governs the senior credit facilities, the indenture governing our initial $300.0 million aggregate principal amount of 6.500 percent secured senior notes (2025 Secured Senior Notes), and the indenture governing the 2026 Unsecured Senior Notes (collectively the Senior Notes) restricts our ability to undertake, or use the proceeds from, such measures.

Our ability to repay our indebtedness is largely dependent on the generation of cash flow by our operating subsidiaries and our operating subsidiaries’ ability to make cash available to us by dividend, intercompany loans, advances, and other transactions, or otherwise. Our subsidiaries may not be able to or may not be permitted to transfer cash to us to enable us to make payments in respect of our indebtedness. Each of our subsidiaries is a distinct legal entity and, under certain circumstances, legal and contractual restrictions, as well as the financial condition and operating requirements of our subsidiaries, may limit our ability to obtain cash from our subsidiaries.

Covenants under the indentures governing our Senior Notes and our credit agreement may restrict our business and operations in many ways, and if we do not effectively manage our covenants, our financial conditions and results of operations could be adversely affected. The indentures governing our Senior Notes and our credit agreement impose various covenants that limit our ability and/or our restricted subsidiaries’ ability to, among other things:

pay dividends or distributions, repurchase equity, prepay, redeem or repurchase certain debt, and make certain investments;
incur additional debt and issue certain preferred stock;
provide guarantees in respect of obligations of other persons;
incur liens on assets;
engage in certain asset sales, including capital stock of our subsidiaries;

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merge, consolidate with, or sell all or substantially all our assets to another person;
enter into transactions with affiliates;
enter into agreements that restrict distributions from our subsidiaries;
designate subsidiaries as unrestricted subsidiaries; and
prohibit certain restrictions on the ability of restricted subsidiaries to pay dividends or make other payments to us.

These covenants may:

limit our ability to borrow additional funds for working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions, or other general business purposes;
limit our ability to use our cash flow or obtain additional financing for future working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions, or other general business purposes;
require us to use a substantial portion of our cash flow from operations to make debt service payments;
limit our flexibility to plan for, or react to, changes in our business and industry;
place us at a competitive disadvantage compared to less leveraged competitors; and
increase our vulnerability to the impact of adverse economic and industry conditions.

If we are unable to successfully manage the limitations and decreased flexibility on our business due to our significant debt obligations, we may not be able to capitalize on strategic opportunities or grow our business to the extent we would be able to without these limitations.

Our failure to comply with any of the covenants could result in a default under the credit agreement or the indentures governing the Senior Notes, which could permit the administrative agent or the trustee, as applicable, or permit the lenders or the holders of the Senior Notes to cause the administrative agent or the trustee, as applicable, to declare all or part of any of our outstanding senior secured term loans or revolving loans or the Senior Notes to be immediately due and payable or to exercise any remedies provided to the administrative agent or the trustee, including, in the case of the credit agreement and the 2025 Secured Senior Notes, proceeding against the collateral granted to secure our obligations under the credit agreement and the 2025 Secured Senior Notes. An event of default under the credit agreement or the indentures governing the Senior Notes could also lead to an event of default under the terms of certain of our other agreements. Any such event of default or any exercise of rights and remedies by our creditors could seriously harm our business.

Discontinuation, reform, or replacement of LIBOR may adversely affect our variable rate debt. A substantial portion of our long-term indebtedness bears interest at fluctuating interest rates based on the London Interbank Offered Rate for deposits of U.S dollars (LIBOR). LIBOR tends to fluctuate based on general interest rates, rates set by the U.S. Federal Reserve Board and other central banks, the supply of and demand for credit in the London interbank market, and general economic conditions. In July 2017, the United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority (the authority that regulates LIBOR) announced that it intends to stop compelling banks to submit rates for the calculation of LIBOR after 2021. It is unclear whether new methods of calculating LIBOR will be established such that it continues to exist after 2021. The U.S. Federal Reserve Board, in conjunction with the Alternative Reference Rates Committee, is considering replacing U.S. dollar LIBOR with a newly created index, calculated with a broad set of short-term repurchase agreements backed by treasury securities. It is not possible to predict the effect of these changes, other reforms, or the establishment of alternative reference rates in the U.S. or elsewhere. To the extent these interest rates increase, our interest expense will increase, in which event we may have difficulties making interest payments and funding our other fixed costs, and our available cash flow for general corporate requirements may be adversely affected.

Risks Relating to Income Taxes

We may have exposure to additional tax liabilities. Our Company is subject to income taxes as well as non-income taxes, in both the U.S. and various foreign jurisdictions. Significant uncertainties exist with respect to the amount of our tax liabilities, including those arising from potential changes in laws in the countries in which we

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have a presence and the possibility of adverse determinations with respect to the application of existing laws. Many judgments are required in determining our provision for income taxes and other tax liabilities, and we are regularly under audit by tax authorities, which often do not agree with positions taken by us on our tax returns. Any unfavorable resolution of these uncertainties may have a significant adverse impact on our tax rate.

Increasingly, countries around the world are actively considering or have enacted changes in relevant tax, accounting, and other laws, regulations, and interpretations. In particular, the U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (the Tax Act) significantly changed how corporations are taxed in the U.S., which has an ongoing impact on our provision for income taxes. While the Company’s accounting for the effects of the Tax Act was completed in fiscal 2019, and the Company believes those effects have been appropriately recorded, various interpretive issues remain with respect to the Tax Act and additional regulatory guidance may be issued. Certain aspects of the Tax Act have been modified by subsequent legislation, such as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).

The uncertainty in the application of the Tax Act and the CARES Act to our ongoing operations, as well as possible adverse future law changes attributable to changes in the U.S. political landscape, create the potential for added volatility in our quarterly provision for income taxes and could have an adverse impact on our future tax rate. Various Democratic Party proposals would partially or wholly reverse beneficial features of the Tax Act, such as by raising the U.S. corporate tax rate and increasing the tax on non-U.S. income. A change in party control of the White House and U.S. Senate thus could lead to dramatic changes in the tax law and result in an increase in our provision for income taxes. Increased federal and state fiscal spending to fund COVID-19 relief measures, coupled with a drop in tax revenue from pandemic-related reductions in economic activity, may add to the pressure to raise more tax revenue from federal and state corporate income and other taxes or to enact new types of taxes on businesses and their customers.

The Time business could have an indemnification obligation to Time Warner, which could materially adversely affect our financial condition. The complete legal and structural separation of Time Warner Inc.’s (Time Warner) magazine publishing and related business from Time Warner (the Spin-Off) was completed by way of a pro rata dividend of Time Inc. shares held by Time Warner to its stockholders as of May 23, 2014, based on a distribution ratio of one share of Time Inc. common stock for every eight shares of Time Warner common stock held (the Distribution). If, due to any of Time Inc.’s representations being untrue or Time Inc.’s covenants being breached, it was determined that the Distribution did not qualify for non-recognition of gain and loss under Section 355 of the Internal Revenue Code, or that an excess loss account existed at the date of the Spin-Off, Time Inc. could be required to indemnify Time Warner for the resulting taxes and related expenses. Any such indemnification obligation could materially adversely affect our financial condition.

 
 
 
The preceding risk factors should not be construed as a complete list of factors that
may affect our future operations and financial results.
 
 
 



ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS


None.




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ITEM 2. PROPERTIES


The Company owns its headquarters located at 1716 and 1615 Locust Street (Des Moines Campus) in Des Moines, Iowa, and is the sole occupant of the Des Moines Campus. The Company also leases property in New York, New York, and believes these facilities, together with our other locations, are sufficient to meet our current and expected future requirements.



ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS


In the ordinary course of business, the Company is a defendant in or party to various legal claims, actions, and proceedings. These claims, actions, and proceedings are at varying stages of investigation, arbitration, or adjudication, and involve a variety of areas of law.

On October 26, 2010, the Canadian Minister of National Revenue denied the claims by Time Inc. Retail (formerly Time/Warner Retail Sales & Marketing, Inc.) (TIR) for input tax credits in respect of goods and services tax that TIR had paid on magazines it imported into and had displayed at retail locations in Canada during the years 2006 to 2008, on the basis that TIR did not own those magazines and issued Notices of Reassessment in the amount of approximately C$52 million. On January 21, 2011, TIR filed an objection to the Notices of Reassessment with the Chief of Appeals of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), arguing that TIR claimed input tax credits only in respect of goods and services tax it actually paid and it is entitled to a rebate for such payments. On September 13, 2013, TIR received Notices of Reassessment in the amount of C$26.9 million relating to the same type of situation during the years 2009 to 2010, and TIR filed similar objections as for prior years. By letter dated June 19, 2015, the CRA requested payment of C$89.8 million, which includes interest accrued and stated that failure to pay may result in legal action. TIR responded by stating that collection should remain stayed pending resolution of the issues raised by TIR’s objection. Including interest accrued, the total of the reassessments claimed by the CRA for the years 2006 to 2010 was C$91 million as of November 30, 2015. The parties are engaged in mediation.

On September 6, 2019, a shareholder filed a putative class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against the Company, its Chief Executive Officer, and its Chief Financial Officer, seeking to represent a class of shareholders who acquired securities of the Company between May 10, 2018, and September 4, 2019 (the New York Action). On September 12, 2019, a shareholder filed a putative class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa against the Company, its Chief Executive Officer, its Chief Financial Officer, and its Chairman of the Board seeking to represent a class of shareholders who acquired securities of the Company between January 31, 2018, and September 5, 2019 (the Iowa Action). Both complaints allege that the defendants made materially false and/or misleading statements and failed to disclose material adverse facts about the Company’s business, operations, and prospects. Both complaints assert claims under the federal securities laws and seek unspecified monetary damages and other relief. On November 12, 2019, the plaintiff shareholder withdrew the New York Action, and the action has been dismissed. On November 25, 2019, the City of Plantation Police Officers Pension Fund was appointed to serve as lead plaintiff in the Iowa Action. On March 9, 2020, the lead plaintiff filed an amended complaint in the Iowa Action, now seeking to represent a class of shareholders who acquired securities of the Company between January 31, 2018, and September 30, 2019. The defendants intend to vigorously oppose the Iowa Action. On June 22, 2020, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss the Iowa Action. Under the court’s scheduling order, it appears likely the Company will receive a decision on the motion sometime in late 2020 or 2021. Until then, discovery is stayed. The Company expresses no opinion as to the ultimate outcome of these matters.




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ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

Not applicable.



 
 
PART II
 
 



ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED SHAREHOLDER MATTERS, AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES


MARKET INFORMATION, DIVIDENDS, AND HOLDERS

Meredith stock became publicly traded in 1946. The principal market for trading Meredith’s common stock is the New York Stock Exchange (trading symbol MDP). There is no separate public trading market for Meredith’s class B stock, which is convertible share for share at any time into common stock. Holders of both classes of stock receive equal dividends per share.

As a result of operating performance being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, debt agreement covenant compliance, and liquidity considerations, the Board of Directors paused dividend payments on the Company’s common and class B stock after the March 13, 2020, payment. The Board remains committed to resuming the dividend in the future when circumstances permit. Prior to June 2020, quarterly dividends had been paid continuously since 1947.

On July 31, 2020, there were approximately 830 holders of record of the Company’s common stock and 450 holders of record of class B stock.


COMPARISON OF SHAREHOLDER RETURN

The following graph compares the performance of the Company’s common stock during the period July 1, 2015, to June 30, 2020, with the Standard and Poor’s (S&P) SmallCap 600 Index, the S&P MidCap 400 Index, and the Dow Jones US Media Index.

In May 2020, the Company was moved from the S&P MidCap 400 Index to the S&P SmallCap 600 Index. Therefore, the Company has shown both the S&P MidCap 400 Index and the S&P SmallCap 600 Index in the following graph.


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The graph depicts the results for investing $100 in the Company’s common stock, the S&P SmallCap 600 Index, the S&P MidCap 400 Index, and the Dow Jones US Media Index, assuming dividends were reinvested.

mdp2020.jpg


ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

The following table sets forth information with respect to the Company’s repurchases of common stock during the quarter ended June 30, 2020.

Period
(a)
Total number
of shares
purchased 1
(b)
Average price
paid
per share
(c)
Total number of shares
purchased as part of
publicly announced
programs
(d)
Approximate dollar value of shares
 that may yet be
purchased under the
programs
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
(in millions)
April 1 to
April 30, 2020
 
946

 
 
$
12.22

 
 
946

 
 
$
46.6

 
May 1 to
May 31, 2020
 
709

 
 
13.61

 
 
709

 
 
46.6

 
June 1 to
June 30, 2020
 
163

 
 
18.63

 
 
163