Quarterly Report

Lee's Digital Revenue Rises 12.7% In Q1

The newspaper publisher continued to see ad declines on the print side, but total digital revenue — which includes advertising, marketing services, subscriptions and digital businesses — hit $21.6 million for its first fiscal quarter, a 12.7% increase compared with the same quarter a year ago.
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NetNewsCheck,

While print side advertising woes continued to be a drag on Lee Enterprises Inc.’s bottom line, digital results added some good news for the company’s fiscal first quarter.

Total digital revenue — which includes advertising, marketing services, subscriptions and digital businesses — hit $21.6 million for its first fiscal quarter, a 12.7% increase compared with the same quarter a year ago, the company reported Thursday morning.

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The newspaper publisher also saw mobile ad revenue jump to $1.7 million for the quarter, up 37.6% over last year’s first quarter.

Lee reported continued increases in mobile, tablet, desktop and app page views, which rose to 209.7 million during the quarter, up 12.8% from last year’s quarter. Monthly unique visitors were up 19.9% to 25.6 million, the company said.

Digital advertising and marketing services revenue rose 9.8% to $18.6 million and now totals 15.2% of total advertising and marketing services revenue, the company said.

Mary Junck, chairman and CEO, says the company is planning more digital moves for 2014.

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“In the months ahead, we plan more digital and audience initiatives and we expect continued expense benefit from business transformation initiatives under way,” Junck said in a statement. “Beginning in April, we plan to launch new subscription models in several markets, providing audiences with the printed newspaper along with full access to all of our digital platforms, including Web, app and digital replica across desktop, mobile and tablet.”

On the print side, the picture wasn’t as bright. Print advertising and marketing services revenue decreased 7.3%. Subscription revenue decreased 1.1%.

Combined print and digital advertising and marketing services revenue decreased 5% to $122.4 million, improved from 2013 trends, with retail advertising down 3.7%, classified down 9.2% and national down 3.6%. Combined print and digital classified employment revenue decreased 6.2%, while automotive decreased 12.8%, real estate decreased 5.0% and other classified decreased 10.1%, the company said.

Overall, operating revenue for the quarter were down slightly, reaching $177.4 million, down 3.9% compared with a year ago.

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