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Long-Term Media Trends Unchanged For Pantagraph Owner Lee Enterprises

Jeff Roberson
A pressman grabs a freshly printed St. Louis Post-Dispatch paper off the press at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's printing facility in Maryland Heights, Missouri, in 2008.

The parent company of the Pantagraph newspaper in Bloomington reported an increase in quarterly earnings Wednesday.

Lee Enterprises says the $3.5 million in third quarter results compares to $0.7 million for the same period last year.
The report showed no difference in longer term trends, though. Year-to-date earnings were down. Total revenue declined 6.8 percent in the last 12 months. The company continues to gain ground in repaying debt, and Lee continues to cut costs faster than total revenue is declining. Cash costs dropped 7.7 percent for the year.

The $20.1 million (quarter) and $68.8 million (year) reduction in debt has reduced interest expense for the media company by $6.7 million in the last 12 months. That's a drop of more than 10 percent in interest expense for the period.

Digital advertising revenue continues to rise. Traditional revenue declined.

Lee still owes creditors more than $548 million.

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WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.
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