Thursday, October 8, 2009

Junck recalls 'all we've accomplished' in FY09

On Wednesday, CEO Mary Junck sent an e-mail to publishers and directors that includes her list of 10 accomplishment from the last fiscal year.

The e-mail follows, but let's start with that top 10 list. (The capitalization and punctuation is hers.)
1. EXCEPTIONAL FORTITUDE, perseverance and teamwork have shined throughout the company, reinforcing our ability to emerge strong when the recession ends.
2. DEBT REFINANCING – We executed a complete refinancing of $1.3 billion of bank and Pulitzer Notes debt in the worst financing environment since the Great Depression.
3. HUGE COST SAVINGS – We reduced cash costs by roughly $145 million, or 18%, with savings across all enterprises and in virtually all cost categories.
4. STREAMLINED OPERATIONS – We re-engineered traditional ways of doing business, including outsourcing and insourcing of printing, production and distribution; creation of regional call centers; and regionalization of human resources.
5. INCREASED MARKET SHARE – Through an intense focus on High-Velocity Steal Share programs including Brand Expand, we generated approximately $35 million of stolen share advertising revenue.
6. CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM – We created and deployed a powerful content management system that has provided dynamic new online tools and a platform for a significant new advertising capability, Behavioral Targeting.
7. MASSIVE BT LAUNCH – Our mid-summer kickoff of Behavioral Targeting has generated more than $4 million of new online advertising sales in the last two months of FY2009, and set the stage for a goal of $20 million in FY2010.
8. NEW PAGE WIDTH – We redesigned our pages to a reduced width of 11 inches, cutting newsprint expense 8.3%, and gaining approval from readers and advertisers.
9. AUDIENCE GROWTH – We grew or maintained our print and online audiences by emphasizing vital, compelling and unmatched local journalism.
10. INDUSTRY LEADER IN REVENUE – With an intense sales culture and unending stream of initiatives, we again led the industry in advertising revenue by nearly 5 percentage points.

Junck's e-mail is big on behavioral targeting, or BT. That e-mail in its entirety:
From: Mary Junck
Sent: Wednesday, October 07, 2009 2:54 PM
To: #Publishers_Corporate Directors_and_CEO Team
Cc: Kelly Peterson
Subject: Top Accomplishments in 2009 and BT update

While none of us would want to do FY2009 over again, we should take well-earned satisfaction in all we accomplished.

As the attached Top 10 list shows, there’s quite a lot to cheer us.

Thanks to you and so many others across Lee, our hard and innovative work this past year has set the stage for success in 2010 and beyond. Please feel free to share this list as you tally up your own.

You’ll note that #7 on the list is our massive BT launch in Tier 1 at the end of July. This week, Tier 2 launched in enthusiastic rallies Monday in Billings and today in Davenport, and it’s safe to predict that BT is a lock for next year’s Top 10. We’re already nearing our sales goal of $5 million by October 31 and well on our way to reaching $20 million in 2010.

This terrific success shows Lee at its best. It reflects our outstanding sales culture, an excellent sales template, very strong execution and a high level of online sales training throughout Lee. It demonstrates that we are ready for full integration of online sales.

To advance the course we’re on, Greg Schermer, Paul Farrell and I have determined that the corporate sales resources should be fully integrated, as well. The corporate online sales team is joining Paul and his Sales & Marketing group. Mike Buchler and Michelle Carr moved over this week, and we are working out remaining details of the transition.

Greg and I have also concluded that to build our digital future fully, we need to focus even more on the development of new digital products and solutions for our readers and advertisers. High-priority projects for Greg and his team include paid content and mobile, along with overall digital strategy, product development and support, and industry alliances.

Greg, Paul and I think these are very good organizational moves, and we think you’ll agree.

With appreciation and very best wishes,

Mary Junck

Take a look at my previous "look back at FY09" post -- it centered more on the layoffs, the furloughs, the poor stock performance.

What is your prediction for fiscal year 2010? Vote now in the poll to the right.

(Via e-mail)

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