This Lee commands an army of newspapers. Lee Enterprises owns or has stakes in about 50 daily newspapers and nearly 300 weekly papers and niche publications. Its papers serve primarily small and midsized markets in some 20 states. Its portfolio is anchored by the St. Louis Post Dispatch ; it also owns 50% of Madison Newspapers, publisher of the Wisconsin State Journal . The eighth-largest newspaper publisher in the US, Lee serves a daily circulation of more than 1.3 million readers. It additionally operates several websites in conjunction with its newspapers, and it has commercial printing facilities.


In 2011 Lee reached an agreement with most its lenders to refinance $769.5 million of its loans. However, the plan required unanimous approval and 6% of its lenders did not consent; thus, a couple of months later Lee was forced to file for Chapter 11. The company emerged from bankruptcy in 2012 under new financing terms.


Lee operates in a single operating segment: newspapers. The company generates revenue through circulation, advertising (print and digital), and commercial printing services.

Geographic Reach

Lee operates in 23 states concentrated mostly in the Midwest US.

Sales and Marketing

In light of the new media landscape, Lee has been focusing on its digital operations. These efforts include mobile and tablet apps, digital couponing, banner ads, and social networking services. Lee's websites and mobile products attracted 21.8 million unique visitors in December 2011.

Financial Performance

About 71% of the company's 2011 revenue came from advertising. In 2011, advertising revenue decreased $23,326,000, or 4.2%. One bright spot for the company: digital advertising revenue increased 27% in 2011.

The company's bankruptcy filing came days after its annual financial results, when it reported a loss of more than $146 million for the fiscal year ended September 2011. In its bankruptcy documents, Lee listed liabilities of $994.5 million and assets of $1.15 billion. Under its plan, the company is extending loan repayments, once due in 2012, to 2015 and 2017 -- with higher interest rates. Also as part of the reorganization, current shareholders will be diluted to about 13%, while new shares will be issued to creditors.


In 2012 Lee agreed to sell the North County Times newspaper and digital media operations to Manchester Freedom, LLC for $11.95 million. Proceeds of the divestiture will be used to pay down the company's debt.

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926 P St
Lincoln, NE 68508-3668
Phone: 1 (402) 473-2695
Fax: 1 (402) 473-7466


  • Employer Type: Public
  • Building Director: Mike Holland
  • Ceo: Mary E Junck
  • Press Manager: Bob Schaeffer
  • Employees: 465

Major Office Locations

  • Lincoln, NE