Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Lee plans to cut 5-7% this year

Lee recently reported its third quarter earnings. Or lack of. The biggest surprise was the 9.1 percent drop in online revenue. Content Bridges predicts those losses will mean more cuts at Lee:

What's going on with Lee's online growth number? Coming in at a negative 9.1%, it's a head-scratcher. We know that newspaper companies each bring their own unique accounting to print/online revenue allocations, and that could be an issue here. Or could be the upsell addiction, though Lee has put a lot of energy into transforming its sales as well. The next quarter's number will be fascinating to hear.

So you think current cuts are tough? Lee told us they cut 2.3% in expenses, this quarter 2008 compared this quarter 2007. But CEO Mary Junck added she plans additional expense cuts of 5-7% in the coming year. That could be lots of newsprint and jobs. McClatchy CEO Gary Pruitt pegged further non-newsprint expense cutting at more than 10%. Other CEOs tell a similar story.

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