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Summary:

Newspaper publisher Lee Enterprises (NYSE: LEE) touched a fresh 52-week low today, and its market cap stands at around $440 million. A littl…

Newspaper publisher Lee Enterprises (NYSE: LEE) touched a fresh 52-week low today, and its market cap stands at around $440 million. A little perspective: Just over three years ago, it purchased publisher Pulitzer Inc. for $1.46 billion. That means the value of the combined chains is worth less than a third of what Pulitzer alone was deemed to be worth at the time. Today’s drop follows news that the Lee-owned St. Louis Post-Dispatch will eliminate 31 jobs, according to the paper itself.

The message from management is that the cuts are necessary to accommodate for the weak economy and the bad ad market. It looks like cuts will be made everywhere but editorial: affected areas include circulation, classifieds, production, purchasing, telephone operations and marketing. Some management positions will be eliminated, although the exact number was not specified. The report does not say whether there are any buyout offers on the table.

– Fidelity management recently upped its stake in Lee to 11.5 percent, while longtime investor Bruce Sherman recently eliminated his holdings.

Disclosure: Our co-editor Staci D. Kramer is the partner of an editor at the Post-Dispatch; he is enrolled in the Lee stock-purchase program and pays a premium for their household Lee health plan.

  1. Carolynn Kunin Wednesday, August 6, 2008

    Whith the St.Louis Post being the only daily newspaper in town,
    it is vital to keep it.

    It seems to me that it would effect a great number of people in
    such a negative way if we were to loose it.

    Not only the readers that make it a part of each day but the
    advertisers, delivery people, shops that sell the paper, writers,
    printers and countless more would stand to loose so much.

    We need to keep it for a long time to come.

    Thank you.

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