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Big exec bonuses for Pantagraph parent co. after bankruptcy

Wed, 28 Mar 2012 15:16:47 CDT
By: Charlie Schlenker

Even as the Pantagraph Newspaper in Bloomington continues to reduce staff through layoffs and employee buyouts, the CEO and Treasurer of its parent company are receiving hefty bonuses. An SEC filing shows Lee Enterprises CEO and Chair Mary Junck received a half a million dollars and Vice President, Treasurer, and Chief Financial Officer Carl Schmidt received a quarter million dollars in discretionary bonuses approved by the board. The payouts come as Lee exits bankruptcy still owing a billion dollars in debt. The prepackaged filing allowed refinancing of the debt at higher interest rates and eliminated 13% of shareholder value. It did stave off auditor and analyst concerns that Lee would not be able to continue as a business. Lee publishes dozens of newspapers including the Pantagraph, Decatur Herald and Review, and the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch. Lee's stock price has also fallen from nearly fifty dollars eight years ago to just above a dollar now. Lee also recently chose to outsource Pantagraph printing operations, trimming a few more jobs from Bloomington-Normal. SEC filing

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