Lee Enterprises

Lee Enterprises
Public (NYSE: LEE)
Industry Media
Founded 1890
Founder A. W. Lee
Headquarters Davenport, Iowa United States
Key people
Mary Junck
(Executive Chairman)
Kevin Mowbray
(President and CEO)
Products Newspapers and television station
Revenue Increase US$648.5 million (2015)[1]
Increase US$109.3 million (2015)[1]
Increase US$24.31 million (2015)[1]
Total assets Decrease US$763.5 million (2015)[1]
Number of employees
Website Lee Enterprises website

Lee Enterprises is a publicly traded American media company. It publishes 54 daily newspapers in 23 states, and more than 300 weekly, classified, and specialty publications. Lee Enterprises was founded in 1890 by Alfred Wilson Lee and is based in Davenport, Iowa.

The company also provides online services, including websites supporting its daily newspapers and other publications. As of September 2013, Lee had 23.2 million unique web and mobile visitors, with 209.1 million pages viewed. Lee also owns 82.5% of TownNews.com, an Internet service company. The company offers commercial printing services to its customers.

Lee Enterprises is currently the fourth largest newspaper group in the United States of America. The company acquired Howard Publications (16 daily newspapers) for $694 million in 2002[3] and Pulitzer, Inc. (14 daily, over 100 non-daily), for $1.5 billion in 2005.[4]

Since January 2012, its Executive Chairman, Mary Junck, has also been Chairman of the Associated Press.[5]

Chapter 11 bankruptcy, debt discharge and reorganization (2011)

The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2011.[6] It emerged from bankruptcy less than two months later. In April 2012, Warren Buffett took a stake in Lee Enterprises (through Berkshire Hathaway Inc.), buying $85 million of the company's debt from Goldman Sachs Group.[7]

In June 2012, Berkshire Hathaway filed an amended Form 13F (13F-HR/A) for the period ending March 31, 2012.[8] This document disclosed that Berkshire accumulated $2,119,000 or 1,655,125 common shares of Lee Enterprises, or a 3.2 percent stake.[9] The document noted that the confidentiality of this transaction was requested but denied by the SEC on May 25, 2012.[10]

Bailout and recapitalization (2013)

In April 2013, Lee Enterprises announced that Berkshire Hathaway refinanced the remaining Pulitzer acquisition debt equating to $94 million.[11] Lee Enterprises incurred no cost for doing this. The collateral involved was the TNI Partner stake including the Arizona Daily Star and azstarnet.com. The result of this was a reduction in interest from a variable rate of 11.3% to a fixed rate of 9% while at the same time, extending the debt maturity date of the debt from December 2015 to April 2017. At the time of the announcement Lee Enterprises noted they had $893 million left to pay off. Lee paid off and retired its New Pulitzer notes in June 2015, 6 months before the original maturity date and 22 months before the new maturity date. Lee also refinanced its remaining debt in 2014 in order to extend the maturities from 2015 and 2017 to 2019 and 2022.

Lee newspapers[12]

State City Newspaper
Arizona Flagstaff Arizona Daily Sun
Tucson Arizona Daily Star
California Hanford The Sentinel
Lompoc The Lompoc Record
Napa Napa Valley Register
Santa Maria Santa Maria Times
Hawaii Lihue The Garden Island
Idaho Burley South Idaho Press
Twin Falls Times-News
Illinois Bloomington The Pantagraph
Carbondale The Southern Illinoisan
Charleston Times-Courier
Decatur Herald & Review
Gibson City Gibson City Courier
Mattoon Journal Gazette
Indiana Munster The Times
Iowa Davenport Quad-City Times
Mason City Globe Gazette
Osage Mitchell County Press-News
Muscatine Muscatine Journal
Sioux City Sioux City Journal
Waterloo Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier
Kentucky Maysville The Ledger Independent
Minnesota Winona Winona Daily News
Missouri Park Hills Daily Journal
St. Louis St. Louis Post Dispatch
Town and Country Suburban Journals
Montana Billings Billings Gazette
Butte Montana Standard
Hamilton Ravalli Republic
Helena Independent Record
Missoula Missoulian
Nebraska Beatrice Beatrice Daily Sun
Columbus Columbus Telegram
Fremont Fremont Tribune
Lincoln Lincoln Journal Star
Nevada Elko Elko Daily Free Press
New York Auburn The Citizen
Glens Falls The Post-Star
North Dakota Bismarck The Bismarck Tribune
Oregon Albany Albany Democrat-Herald
Bandon Bandon Western World
Coos Bay The World
Corvallis Corvallis Gazette-Times
Lebanon Lebanon Express
Reedsport The Umpqua Post
Pennsylvania Carlisle The Sentinel
South Carolina Orangeburg The Times and Democrat
South Dakota Rapid City Rapid City Journal
Utah Provo The Daily Herald
Washington Longview The Daily News
Wisconsin Baraboo Baraboo News Republic*
Beaver Dam Daily Citizen*
Black River Falls Jackson County Chronicle
Chippewa Falls The Chippewa Herald
La Crosse La Crosse Tribune
Madison The Capital Times*
Madison Wisconsin State Journal*
Mauston Juneau County Star-Times*
Portage Portage Daily Register*
Racine The Journal Times
Reedsburg Reedsburg Times-Press*
Sauk City Sauk Prairie Eagle*
Viroqua The Vernon Broadcaster
Westby The Westby Times
Wisconsin Dells Wisconsin Dells Events*
Wyoming Casper Casper Star-Tribune

* Newspaper owned by Capital Newspapers, a partnership with The Capital Times Company.

Television subsidiary sale (2000)

Lee formerly operated a broadcasting division, which it sold in 2000 to pay off debt and in order to focus on newspaper publishing. Most of the TV stations were sold to Emmis Communications, and have all been sold, as of 2007, to other companies.

City of license / Market Station Channel TV (RF) Years Owned Current Ownership Status
Tucson KGUN 9 (9) 1986–2000 ABC affiliate owned by The E. W. Scripps Company
Honolulu KGMB 9 (now 5 (23)) 1977–2000 CBS affiliate owned by Raycom Media
Mason City - Rochester - Austin KGLO-TV ** 3 (42) 1954–1977 CBS affiliate, KIMT, owned by Media General
Topeka, Kansas KSNT 27 (27) 1995–2000 NBC affiliate owned by Media General
Wichita / Hutchinson, Kansas KSNW 3 (45) 1995–2000 NBC affiliate owned by Media General
Great Bend KSNC
(satellite of KSNW)
2 (22) 1995–2000 NBC affiliate owned by Media General
Garden City, Kansas KSNG
(satellite of KSNW)
11 (11) 1995–2000 NBC affiliate owned by Media General
McCook, Nebraska KSNK
(satellite of KSNW)
8 (12) 1995–2000 NBC affiliate owned by Media General
Hannibal - Quincy - Keokuk - Macomb KHQA-TV ** 7 (7) 1953–1986 CBS affiliate owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group
Mankato KEYC-TV ** 12 (12) 1960–1977 CBS affiliate owned by United Communications Corporation
Omaha - Council Bluffs KMTV 3 (45) 1986–2000 CBS affiliate owned by The E. W. Scripps Company
Albuquerque - Santa Fe KGGM-TV/KRQE 13 (13) 1991–2000 CBS affiliate owned by Media General
Portland KOIN 6 (40) 1977–2000 CBS affiliate owned by Media General
El Paso - Las Cruces - Ciudad Juárez KMAZ 48 (47) 1993–1998 Telemundo affiliate, KTDO, owned by ZGS Communications
Huntington - Charleston WSAZ-TV 3 (23) 1971–2000 NBC affiliate owned by Gray Television

In addition, Lee also operated KASY-TV in Albuquerque which was owned by Ramar Communications. That station was a UPN affiliate. KASY was sold to WB affiliate KWBQ in 1999 when the LMA was terminated.


  1. 1 2 3 4 http://lee.net/financial/annual-report/pdf_51777fbc-f5cd-11e5-9f75-5fa39a2c6c14.html
  2. Lee Enterprises Inc.: publishing, newspapers, online, shoppers, classified, specialty publications
  3. "Lee Enterprises Buys Howard Publications". Editor & Publisher. February 2, 2002. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  4. Steinberg, Jacques (February 1, 2005). "Pulitzer to Be Acquired by Lee Enterprises". New York Times. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  5. "Mary Junck of Lee Enterprises named new AP board chairman", Associated Press press release, January 26, 2012.
  6. "Newspaper group Lee Enterprises files for bankruptcy", Thomson Reuters, December 12, 2011.
  7. "Warren Buffett Building Newspaper Empire? - Deal Journal -". blogs.wsj.com. 2012. Retrieved 13 April 2012.
  8. "Berkshire Hathaway SEC Archives March 31, 2012 13F-HR/A amendment"
  9. Reuters (June 6, 2012). "Shares of Lee Enterprises Surge After Buffett Buys Stake". New York Times. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  10. Kraut, Dan (June 5, 2012). "Buffett's Berkshire Discloses Stake In Lee Enterprises". Bloomberg. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  11. "Lee Enterprises refinances $94 million in debt". nwitimes.com. April 30, 2013. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  12. "Lee Enterprise Markets". Retrieved 22 June 2015.

External links

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