Meredith Corp. Promotes Harty to President and Chief Operating Officer

Digital President Jon Werther Succeeds Harty Atop National Media Group

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Tom Harty.
Tom Harty. Credit: Meredith Corp.

Meredith Corp., the media company whose portfolio includes 17 local TV stations and magazines such as Better Homes and Gardens, has promoted Tom Harty from president of the National Media Group to the new post of president-chief operating officer. He continues to report to Meredith Chairman-CEO Steve Lacy.

"During his tenure at Meredith, Tom has led initiatives to strengthen our media brands and grow diversified revenue sources such as digital, brand licensing and marketing services," Mr. Lacy said in a statement.

As head of the National Media Group since 2010, Mr. Harty oversaw the company's magazines and websites. In his new role, he will continue to oversee national media and add oversight of the Local Media Group, which houses the owned or operated TV stations. Paul Karopwicz, president for if the Local Media Group, will start reporting to Mr. Harty instead of Mr. Lacy.

Jon Werther, president of Meredith Digital, was named president of the National Media Group, succeeding and reporting to Mr. Harty. The company plans to name a new head of digital shortly, a spokesman said.

Meredith closed More magazine earlier this year, citing "advertising challenges in the luxury marketplace" and promising to invest in "more profitable activities." It also agreed to let Media General Inc. walk away from a planned merger that would have increased its reach in TV and reduced its exposure to the difficult magazine business. In 2013, an attempt to merge with Time Inc. came undone before an agreement could be reached.

The company was one of the first in the publishing industry, however, to guarantee specific results to its largest advertisers.

In the year that ended June 30, Meredith's revenue grew 3.5% to $1.6 billion as circulation, national and local advertising and other revenue all grew. Income from operations declined 46% to $130.6 million, however, as the company took a $161.5 million impairment charge largely related to acquisitions in the National Media Group between 2002 and 2008.

Meredith last had a president-COO in 2006, when Mr. Lacy was promoted from that role to CEO. Meredith will name a new CEO in three years when Mr. Lacy reaches 65, the company's mandatory retirement age for CEOs.

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