The parent company of the Pantagraph Newspaper in Bloomington posted a small loss in its third quarter of $1.4 million. That's a far better result than the $155 million in red ink the company posted in the same period last year. Lee emerged from a planned bankruptcy earlier this year. The ratio of interest to principal on its loans paid in the last quarter is five to one. Higher interest rates cost the company $50.5 million in debt service, even as debt fell by $9.5 million. Without costs associated with reorganization and the higher interest rates the company is paying, Lee says it would have made a small profit for the quarter. The company says it cut operating costs by 4.1% in the third quarter compared to one year ago, but revenue also declined during the period by 4.3%. CEO Mary Junck says in nearly all of Lee's markets, the economic recovery seems to start and stall unpredictably, producing erratic overall revenue results from month to month.
Lee is also focusing on growing it's non-print presence. Website views went up over 3% from last year. Mobile page views shot up 156% to 45.5 Million. Lee CEO Mary Junck says digital subscriptions were introduced in 11 additional markets. Lee plans on expanding pay walls to nearly all 52 of it's markets by 2013.
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