Lee Enterprises 1Q Profit Down as ad Sales Hit

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Newspaper publisher Lee Enterprises Inc. says first-quarter earnings tumbled 69% as the nation’s recession hits advertising sales.

The Davenport-based company says net income after paying preferred dividends slid to $6.8 million, or 15 cents per share. That’s down from $22.1 million, or 48 cents per share, a year ago. Total revenue fell 13% to $243.6 million.

The results are preliminary.

Chairman and CEO Mary Junck says the company is cutting costs, eliminating more than 10% of its work force during the quarter, with additional cuts recently announced.

Lee’s daily papers include the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Lincoln Journal Star in Nebraska and the Quad-City Times in Davenport.

Lee expects to report its final quarterly results around Feb. 6.

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