@ UBS Media Week: Speculating, Meredith Interested In Time Inc. Health Titles, Southern Progress

If the rumors are true that Time Inc. may sell several of its health titles and its Southern Progress unit, rival magazine publisher Meredith (NYSE: MDP) would be very interested in buying, said Stephen Lacey, Meredith’s CEO, speaking at the UBS Global Media & Communications Conference in New York. Over the next few months, Meredith will be aggressively seeking women’s health related titles for print and online.

Acquisitions: We’ve been very public about desire to acquire titles related to women’s health. There are no deals that we are not aware of. We would be very interested whether it’s from Time or other competitors.

Video: After acquisitions, Meredith’s second priority is ramping up its digital video offerings. I specifically asked Lacey about his plans in that area, noting last month’s syndication agreement between CondeNet and YouTube. Lacey indicated that he is very amenable to a similar deal and will explore them more fully sometime next year. Right now, all its original video content rests solely on its magazine and local TV websites.

Online Revenue Model: Over all, the broadband business is built around BHG and Parents. Content for those channels is developed by Meredith’s own broadcasting production operation, with revenue streams coming from three buckets, traditional advertising, which is sold from a dedicated internet operation, a video on demand relationship with Comcast (NSDQ: CMCSA), launching next week. We sell in conjunction with Comcast, with a 50/50 split. Custom content creation for corporate clients has been particularly strong, a big part of the revenue stream and was not anticipated. Video looks like our traditional business.

On Belo: Asked about the Dallas company’s recent split between broadcast and print businesses, Lacey said he might explore that kind of arrangement as well. “Our situation is different, but we’ve talked about it. We’re open minded about activities that create shareholder value, and we will continue to monitor how Belo’s (NYSE: BLC) action ultimately turns out.”

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