The parent company of the Pantagraph newspaper in Bloomington lost $6 million in the quarter that ended March 31st. Lee Enterprises reports that is an improvement over the $26.6 million in red ink in the same period last year. But, excluding unusual matters, Lee's loss per share actually widened for the period. Lee's operating revenue was nearly $161 million. That's a decline of 2.4% from a year ago. The company reduced operating expenses even more, by 2.9%. Personnel are a big part of that. The average number of full time equivalent workers dropped more than 8%. Newsprint costs also dropped substantially, by more than 12%. Even though revenue is down, even digital revenue, the company says revenue trends are improving. The company owes $893 million, but says it is a year and a half ahead of schedule repaying that debt. Non operating expenses rose 10.5% in the quarter because of higher interest rates on debt. That was partially offset by the company's pre-payment of principle.
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