Friday, March 27, 2009

Montana Standard publisher quits

Montana Standard publisher Janet Taylor will leave in April. Taylor will become publisher at a "northwest publishing group" -- it must be a competitor since it wasn't named. An interim publisher will be appointed.

(Via e-mail)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

St. Louis Post-Dispatch increasing price to $1?

At the end of this story about the Post-Dispatch's smaller web width, the anchor says the daily newsstand price of the paper soon will increase from 75 cents to $1. I'm told that newsroom employees and editors don't know about a price increase. Can anyone confirm or deny?

(Via e-mail)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Post-Star lays off 11

The Post-Star in Glens Falls, N.Y., laid off 10 full-time and one part-time employee Tuesday. The layoffs account for 7.5 percent of the paper's work force. The Post-Star laid off four employees in December.

We're nearing the end of Lee's second quarter. In the past, Lee papers have announced layoffs at the end of the quarter. Send layoff news and tips to

St. Louis Post-Dispatch cuts metro and business, adds moxie

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch joins the ranks of Lee papers now using a 44-inch web width. The paper also cut its standalone business and metro sections.

The Post-Dispatch has also kicked off a new advertising campaign, "Turn up the moxie," complete with scary paint colors throughout the paper's building (left).

I'm not sure everyone's on board with the moxie campaign: It looks like some employees took to Twitter to mock it.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tucson Citizen may not close after all

The Tucson Citizen was slated to close March 21; now it might not. Gannett says there are two buyers for the afternoon paper, and it will stay open "day to day." The Citizen and Lee's Arizona Daily Star operate under a JOA.

Carriers laid off at Post-Dispatch?

McClatchy's Gannett's Belleville (Ill.) News-Democrat will lay off 27 employees and cut three open positions by next week. At the bottom of the News-Democrat's story about its layoffs is a paragraph that says the paper recently started delivering the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in southern Illinois:
(President and Publisher Jay) Tebbe said the job reductions might have been higher if not for other cost-cutting measures, consolidating some of the company's offices to its main headquarters building in Belleville, and signing a contract to deliver the St. Louis Post-Dispatch to P-D customers in parts of Southwestern Illinois.

I assume Post-Dispatch carriers were laid off when this work was outsourced. I know this blog has several Missouri readers -- has anyone heard anything about that?

(Via e-mail)

E&P on Lee Lodge, plane

Fitz & Jen of Editor & Publisher share the info you helped unearth on the Lee Lodge and sale of the corporate jet. Read it here.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tucson Citizen to close

Gannett's Tucson Citizen will close March 21, which could help Lee's Arizona Daily Star. The two papers have been in a joint operating agreement since 1940, and have split costs and profits 50-50. (The Star is the bigger of the two papers.) That JOA continues through 2015, meaning Gannett will share the costs and profits until then.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch recently got out of its JOA with the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, which closed in 1986.

Lee papers taking holidays off?

Are Lee papers cutting the number of days they publish? A notice in the Globe Gazette says they no longer publish New Years Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day and Christmas. No paper on Christmas isn't new, but the others are, right? Any other papers have similar notices or policies?

(Via e-mail)

Pantagraph cuts web width

The Pantagraph in Bloomington, Ill., was 1.5 inches smaller Monday, adopting the Lee-favored 44-inch web. They wrote a story and have a video about it too touting their redesigned features.

(Via e-mail)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

TownNews launches new CMS

TownNews has launched its new content management system, BLOX. Lee, of course, is the majority owner in TownNews, and many of Lee's websites will be switching to BLOX. (The "Move over Gutenberg" line in the press release is a bit much.) Has anyone switched over to BLOX yet? Any reviews?

Globe Gazette switches to tab on Mondays

A month ago, The Globe Gazette in Mason City, Iowa, cut its web width by 1 inch. Now the Monday paper, starting March 16, will be a tabloid format. A note to carriers says "The news inside is different with more good news feature stories."

(Via e-mail)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Lee will cut $100 million more

Sorry for the disappearing act, and thanks to everyone who kept the conversation going the past couple of weeks. Let's catch up on the latest Lee hijinks, shall we?

At the annual stockholder meeting on March 10, shareholders approved the reverse stock split. The stock price has hovered around 30 cents since (and the weeks before); the 52-week high was $12.50 and the low was 24 cents. Bigger than that, though, CFO Carl Schmidt said the company will reduce costs by more than $100 million. (Via e-mail tip)

The St. Louis Newspaper Guild reports that Lee's operating profit is 20 percent. Remember that when you have to take your unpaid time off. Capital Times Co. also is pretty profitable. (Via e-mail tip)

The New York Times is selling its jet. It's generating a lot more press than Lee's jet did. They're asking $9.5 million for the 1997 Dassault Falcon. Lee had a 13-seat 2006 Cessna 560XL Citation Excel. (The Swiss Air Force has a few of them too.) Lee's plane is now registered to Blackwell Aviation in Davenport. Lee's plane should have been worth more than $6 million.

What else did I miss?