DES MOINES, Iowa and NEW YORK, April 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Meredith Corporation (NYSE:MDP), the leading media and marketing company serving American women, announced today that Jon Werther has been named Chief Strategy Officer. In this role, Werther, 43, will work with Meredith's senior management team on evolving corporate and business unit strategies, sourcing and evaluating new strategic opportunities, and leading key strategic initiatives. He will start his new duties on April 30, and report directly to Meredith Chairman and CEO Stephen M. Lacy.
Werther brings a unique blend of digital, media, operational and business development skills to the position. After beginning his career as a transactional attorney, Werther spent more than 10 years in positions of increasing scale and responsibility at Time Warner and its AOL division.
From 1999 to 2005, Werner negotiated and closed a variety of strategic partnerships and led cross-company initiatives which helped spearhead AOL's shift to a web-focused strategy. He then joined Time Warner as Vice President, Operations, where he served on an executive team responsible for both shaping and implementing a company-wide digital distribution strategy, and improving corporate department and portfolio business operating performance.
Werther rejoined AOL in 2007 as Executive Vice President, Business Development, and later was named Executive Vice President, Integrated Operations. In these roles, he was responsible for improving the results of AOL's web business; overseeing the company's acquisition integration and core process improvement efforts; and driving global business development and strategic partnerships.
Most recently, Werther served as a President of Simulmedia, an audience-targeted television ad network. He played leadership roles in helping the company advance beyond its pre-revenue stage; build a local and national television advertising network reaching more than 100 million multichannel U.S. households; amass industry-leading levels of set-top box and other data; and execute more than 100 successful advertising campaigns for national brand advertisers and their media agencies.
"Jon brings outstanding skills and experiences to this position, particularly in the digital media field," Lacy said. "Additionally, he has operating, strategy and marketing experience in the business fields in which we operate, as well as with start-up organizations. I'm looking for him to be a valued advisor as well as a 'disrupter,' someone who helps us look at strategy and business opportunities from viewpoints we may not have conceived or considered before."
Werther earned an MBA from The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania; a law degree from George Washington University; and an undergraduate degree from Emory University.
ABOUT MEREDITH CORPORATION
Meredith Corporation (www.meredith.com) is the leading media and marketing company serving American women. Meredith features multiple well-known national brands – including Better Homes and Gardens, Parents, Family Circle, Allrecipes.com, Ladies' Home Journal, Fitness, More, American Baby, EveryDay with Rachael Ray and FamilyFun – along with local television brands in fast-growing markets. Meredith is the industry leader in creating content in key consumer interest areas such as home, family, health and wellness and self-development. Meredith uses multiple distribution platforms – including print, television, digital, mobile, tablets, and video – to give consumers content they desire and to deliver the messages of its advertising and marketing partners.
Additionally, Meredith uses its many assets to create powerful custom marketing solutions for many of the nation's top brands and companies. Meredith Xcelerated Marketing has significantly added to its capabilities in recent years through the acquisition of cutting-edge companies in digital, mobile, social, healthcare, database, and international marketing. Most recently, Meredith made a strategic investment in London-based Iris Worldwide, a leader in experiential marketing.
A hallmark of Meredith's business model and financial profile is its ability to consistently generate substantial free cash flow by leveraging the strength of its multi-platform portfolio. Meredith is committed to increasing Total Shareholder Return through dividend payments, share repurchases and strategic business investments. Meredith has paid a dividend for 65 straight years and increased its dividend for 19 consecutive years. Meredith currently pays an annual dividend of $1.53 per share, resulting in a dividend yield of nearly 5 percent.