Revenue at Lee Enterprises Slips in February, Despite Online Surge

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Newspaper publisher Lee Enterprises Inc. said Monday that same-property revenue slipped 0.8 percent in February partially because of harsh winter weather.

Same-property revenue dropped to $82.5 million from $83.2 million in the prior year.

Same-property revenue, a key measure of performance, excludes properties bought or sold in the current and prior year.

The company, whose papers mostly serve small and midsized markets in the Midwest and Northwest, said total advertising revenue declined 1.6 percent to $62.8 million while online ad revenue surged 51.5 percent to $4.1 million.

?Strong online advertising growth offset much of the declines in other revenue categories, which have been affected in varying degrees by prolonged cold weather and harsh winter storms, especially in the Midwest,? Chairman and Chief Executive Mary Junck said in a statement.

Retail advertising dipped 1.5 percent to $32.7 million, national ad sales slid 4.9 percent to $4 million and classified advertising slumped 6.7 percent to $21.1 million.

At daily newspapers, employment ad revenue tumbled 10.4 percent to $6.3 million. Automotive ad revenue slumped 10 percent to $4.1 million, real estate was down 8.7 percent to $4.4 million and other classifieds fell 4.8 percent to $2.7 million.

Niche publication ad revenue dropped 14.9 percent, and circulation revenue gained 0.2 percent.


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