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Biz Buzz: Lee Enterprises reports first quarter; digital-only subscribers surpass 100,000 milestone
Biz Buzz

Biz Buzz: Lee Enterprises reports first quarter; digital-only subscribers surpass 100,000 milestone

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Lee Enterprises 

Lee Enterprises, Inc., the parent company of the Napa Valley Register and provider of "high-quality, trusted, local news, information and a major platform for advertising in 49 markets," reported first quarter fiscal 2020 financial results for the period ended Dec. 29, 2019.

• Total digital revenue was $37.2 million, representing 30.4% of operating revenue. Digital advertising revenue increased 5.1%, after adjusting for non-recurring political revenue in the prior year quarter, and represented 39.5% of total advertising revenue.

• Revenue at TownNews increased 17.8% from the prior year quarter.

• Due to timing of strategic pricing actions and print unit declines, subscription revenue was off trend, reflecting the challenging conditions in print. However, digital-only subscribers, which totaled 57,000 in the prior year quarter, increased 84.8% and now total 105,000.

• Total revenues were $122.3 million in the first quarter, compared to $136.2 million in the prior year quarter. On a same property basis revenues were $119.1 million in the first quarter, compared to $136.2 million in the prior year quarter.

• Revenue from the management agreement with BH Media Group totaled $4.0 million, a 53.0% increase from the prior year quarter, largely reflecting continued implementation of operational growth initiatives.

• Cash costs on a same property basis were down 9.3% in the quarter, the result of significant cost actions taken during the quarter.

• Net income totaled $5.7 million and Adjusted EBITDA totaled $28.1 million.

"We made continued progress on our digital transformation in the first quarter, despite difficult comparisons to strong digital advertising results in the same quarter last fiscal year and continued weakness in print subscriptions,” said Kevin Mowbray, president and CEO.

“We are pleased with the ongoing growth of digital-only subscribers, the performance of our management agreement with BH Media Group, and substantial revenue growth at TownNews."

Mowbray continued, "Most importantly, we are excited about the transformational transaction we announced with Berkshire Hathaway last week, which will significantly broaden our scale and unlock $20 million-25 million of anticipated annual revenue and cost synergies."

Info: lee.net

You can reach Jennifer Huffman at 256-2218 or jhuffman@napanews.com

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Business Editor

Jennifer Huffman is the business editor and a general assignment reporter for the Napa Valley Register. I cover a wide variety of topics for the newspaper. I've been with the Register since 2005.

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