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Digital revenues are up but print ads down as Lee Enterprises reports results

Lee Enterprises became the third newspaper organization to report quarterly results this week, and the earnings picture follows a familiar pattern:

*Total digital revenue grew 25.6 percent in the quarter compared to the same period in 2013.

*However weak print advertising dragged total ad and marketing services revenue down 5.6 percent.

*As a result both revenues and profits were essentially flat compared to the period a year ago.

The company earned $9.7 million net for the quarter on revenues of $176.1 million — a margin of 5.5 percent.

Lee is much more profitable on a cash flow or operating basis.  However, like McClatchy, it applies most of the cash earned to paying down debt from a mid-2000′s acquisition. In Lee’s case that is Pulitzer (the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Tucson Citizen), which it bought for $1.5 billion, almost exactly 10 years ago.

Lee did not offer a detailed 2015 forecast, but its press release noted that it began introducing digital paid subscriptions and print + digital bundles at its 46 dailies only in April 2014.  Read more

from Poynter. http://ift.tt/1DDvZbg

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