Highlights: Underlying revenue up 2% with growth across all three segments. North America up 1%, Core up 6% and Growth up 2%. Continued momentum in our structural growth opportunities and stabilisation in other parts of our business more than offsets expected declines in US Higher Education Courseware and US Student Assessment. Strong performance in our structural growth opportunities driven by good enrolment growth in Online Program Management. (OPM) and Connections Academy, a continuing ramp-up of contracts in our Professional Certification business (VUE) and strong test volumes in Pearson Test of English Academic. Pearson’s sales decreased by 2% in headline terms largely due to disposals of non core businesses. As in previous years, Pearson’s sales and profits are weighted towards the second half of the year. Adjusted operating profit up 30% in underlying terms. Reflecting sales growth and savings from the 2017-2019 restructuring programme, partially offset by cost inflation and other operational factors.
Meredith Corporation (NYSE: MDP; meredith.com) today named Dan Wakeford Editor in Chief of its flagship title PEOPLE, effective April 1. Wakeford most recently served as Deputy Editor of PEOPLE since joining the brand in 2015. Wakeford succeeds Jess Cagle, who has decided to step down when his contract expires on March 31.
“An experienced and trusted journalist with entertainment and creative storytelling expertise, Dan is a forward-thinking executive and a brand builder with a clear vision for PEOPLE today and in the future,” said Bruce Gersh, President of PEOPLE. “Dan’s impeccable track record of shaping the editorial direction and content strategy for some of the largest brands makes him the ideal choice to lead Meredith’s most profitable brand.”
As the No. 1 source for delivering trusted celebrity and human interest journalism, the PEOPLE brand reaches an audience of 100 million. Reaching one in two American women, PEOPLE produces a weekly magazine, multiple special issues and books, video and hundreds of pieces of digital content every week, including three People Magazine Investigates series on Discovery ID, two four-hour specials for ABC, a live daily web series and a People OTT network.
“I’m honored to lead the most trusted entertainment brand in the world and continue the tradition of smart and exciting storytelling. I can’t wait to build on this legendary brand’s success and share PEOPLE with audiences everywhere,” said Wakeford.
Wakeford joined PEOPLE in 2015 as Deputy Editor, responsible for all human interest, service and royals content for the brand, and he has led breaking news coverage from school shootings to celebrity weddings across multiple platforms. Dan has a sharp understanding of the zeitgeist and is a master storyteller and brand-builder who specializes in cover creation and multi-platform content. He has split his time between editing the magazine, overseeing 11 of PEOPLE’s digital verticals and developing the future of the business with spin-off projects. These include three seasons of the crime series People Magazine Investigates; two of the spin-off People Magazine Investigates; Cults on Investigation Discovery; and two network documentaries on the royals for ABC. Dan’s sellable editorial packages and business initiatives, such as the digital verticals—PEOPLE HEALTH, accolade programs like Companies That Care and a coffee table book, The 100 Best Celebrity Photos—have all brought in substantial incremental revenue to PEOPLE.
Prior to joining PEOPLE, Wakeford was Editor in Chief of Life & Style at In Touch magazine. He immigrated from the United Kingdom in 2002 to develop the genre of celebrity weeklies in America. Prior to this, Wakeford was a top editor of the team that created Heat, the award-winning London magazine that defined pop culture in the early 2000s in Europe.