Meredith Broadcasting Stock Down Following O’Brien Firing

Oct 29, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Shares in Meredith Corp. fell as much as 5 percent Friday after the company announced it fired its top broadcast executive.

News that the company late Thursday dismissed Kevin O’Brien, who had been president of Meredith Broadcasting Group, for violating the company’s equal employment opportunity policies sent Meredith’s shares down $2.50 to $48.56 a share Friday afternoon.

Some analysts suggested that Wall Street reacted so strongly to the firing because a successor to Mr. O’Brien has not been named and because Mr. O’Brien is well regarded in the industry and was seen as the chief engineer behind the broadcast group’s recent success.

A Meredith spokesman declined to elaborate on the nature of Mr. O’Brien’s dismissal, other than to say it was not related to financial matters.

Meredith President and Chief Operating Officer Stephen Lacy will oversee the 13-station group until a replacement is named.

The company said it has already begun to search externally for a replacement.