Montana Politics

Nothing to See Here: Everything is Great at Lee Enterprises!

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It’s bad enough to make readers pay for a smaller paper with less local coverage, but to charge them to read a press release from your corporate parent?

I do love the corporate-speak, though.

“At the same time, we have initiated a broad range of cost reductions, which are now expected to total 11 to 12 percent in 2009. Some have been short-term steps to help us weather this storm, but most are long-term, streamlining initiatives to provide ongoing benefit in the years ahead. All of this reinforces our confidence that Lee will emerge strong when the recession ends.”

See, it’s not cutting newsroom staff and shrinking the news coverage. It’s “long-term streamlining!”

“Even in this unprecedented downturn, we remain, by far, the leading provider of local news, information and advertising in our markets.

No worries, stockholders. In most markets, we’re the only daily newspaper, so it doesn’t matter how bad the product gets!

One note the press release didn’t mention was the hugely positive impact this deal had on Lee’s stock value, which skyrocketed to 39 cents following the news.

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it’s a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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  • Lee just signed a sub-prime mortgage with credit card financing rates and a really big balloon payment due in three years. So, instead of a quick merciful death on April Fools Day this year (when it’s Pulitzer notes were due) Lee gets to hang around on life support until 2012. At least Mary Junck and the other corporate officers can continue to pull down their ridiculous salaries for a couple more years.

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