Lee Enterprises Claims Print/Online Growth in March

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Newspaper publisher Lee Enterprises Inc. said Tuesday its newspapers saw growing print and online viewership in March.

The company’s newspapers and online sites reached 72% of adults in their markets last month, up from 68% in the prior-year period, the publisher said, citing research from Wilkerson & Associates.

Newspapers reached 66% of adults over seven days compared with 64% a year ago. Another 6% looked at the papers’ Web sites but did not read the newspaper, up from 5% last year.

The newspaper sector has struggled as consumers and advertisers increasingly get their news on the Internet. Companies have tried to combat the problem by ramping up Web operations and cost control efforts.

The Wilkerson & Associates research has a margin of error of less than 3%.

Lee Enterprises’ 54 daily papers have a daily circulation of 1.6 million and a 1.9 million Sunday circulation. The newspaper publisher’s Web site reach 12 million unique visitors per month.

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