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Pantagraph Owner Sees Growth In Digital

The Pantagraph building signage
Eric Stock
The Pantagraph building in Downtown Bloomington.

The parent company of The Pantagraph reported Thursday increased digital subscriptions and advertisers in its third quarter.

“Total revenue decreased 4% in the third quarter, matching the second quarter trend, as we continue the company’s digital transformation,” Lee Enterprises President and CEO Kevin Mowbray said. “Total digital revenue, including digital advertising and digital services, was $30.5 million for the quarter, up 5.3% on a same property basis compared with a year ago.”

Digital advertising revenue, which represents nearly 40% of total advertising revenue, increased 2.8% over last quarter. Digital retail advertising represents the remaining 60%. That grew 3.3% over the same period, primarily driven by an increase of advertising from local retailers.

The Iowa-based media organization saw an increase in its digital audience with page views per visit up 6.8%. There was a monthly average of 74.1 million visits to Lee’s mobile, tablet, desktop, and app sites.

Subscription revenue was down 3.2%, but digital subscribers continue to grow with a third quarter increase of 72%.

Lee also reports continued declines in operating expenses, down by nearly 5% from quarter two with same property cash costs down 7.6%.

Mowbray said the management agreement with BH Media Group exceeded expectations by bringing in $11.3 million in revenue since its inception in July 2018.

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