Home Blog Industry News: Lee Enterprises outlines digital strategies, improves cost outlook
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (February 19, 2014) — At its annual meeting of stockholders today, Lee Enterprises,

Incorporated (NYSE: LEE), a major provider of local news, information and advertising in 50 markets, will

provide a review of its digital news, sales and audience strategies, along with a financial update that

includes improved cost guidance.

The presentation is available at lee.net. It includes remarks by Mary Junck, chairman and chief executive

officer; Kevin Mowbray, vice president and chief operating officer; and Carl Schmidt, vice president, chief

financial officer and treasurer.

“As we recently reported, Lee is off to a solid start in 2014,” Junck said. “We grew digital revenue and

audiences at a double-digit pace, continued to reduce expenses, again posted strong cash flow, reduced our

debt further and announced a commitment for a favorable refinancing of our second lien debt. Those

reasons reinforce our upbeat outlook.”

Strategies include:

Expanded local news and information tailored for each digital platform – desktop and tablet web,

mobile web, mobile apps, tablet apps, e-editions and niche apps.

Expanded mobile advertising capabilities, including geo-targeting, and expanded digital marketing

services aimed at small and medium-size businesses.

Introduction of full-access subscriptions in 28 markets by September, providing subscribers with a

single sign-on to all digital platforms in addition to home delivery of the printed newspaper.

Ongoing business transformation initiatives, including the expansion of regional design centers, now

serving 25 newspapers.

In providing improved cost guidance, Schmidt said 2014 operating expenses, excluding depreciation and

amortization, as well as impairment charges in the prior year, are expected to decrease 1.5-2.5%, a change

of about $5 million from the prior estimate. This guidance excludes the impact of a circulation-related

expense reclassification that will increase both subscription revenue and expenses, but have no impact on

operating cash flow or operating income.

Schmidt also reviewed plans for refinancing Lee’s long-term debt. He said that in addition to completing a

previously announced agreement for refinancing Lee’s second lien debt to December 2022, the company is

focused on refinancing its first lien debt, which matures in December 2015. He said Lee will seek to

refinance its first lien debt over the next few months, using a combination of pre-payable and non-prepayable

facilities, with a goal of extending the company’s non-Pulitzer weighted average maturities beyond

seven years.

Lee Enterprises is a leading provider of local news and information, and a major platform for advertising, in

its markets, with 46 daily newspapers and a joint interest in four others, rapidly growing digital products and

nearly 300 specialty publications in 22 states.

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