Lee Enterprises and Vulture Capitalism, Part #432


Don’t worry, reporters at under-staffed, overworked, demoralized Lee Newspapers. Your bosses are still getting bonuses, even as more of your co-workers lose their jobs.

In a Thanksgiving miracle, the executives of the chain that keeps losing money were rewarded for their malfeasance with some stock bonuses, reports Jim Romanesko. The tally?

Chief executive officer Mary Junck — 200,000 shares
Chief financial officer Carl Schmidt — 50,000 shares
Chief operating officer Kevin Mowbray — 50,000 shares
Vice president of sales and marketing Michael R. Gulledge — 22,000 shares
Vice president of interactive Gregory Schermer — 16,000 shares
Vice president of publishing Greg Veon — 10,000 shares

In total, that’s a cool $1.25 million for six executives whose company lost over $70 million in 2013. In bonuses.

To be fair, most people would probably take a crochet pot holder over a 1,000 Lee shares at a white elephant Christmas exchange given that the pot holder is still likely to have value in three years, but the non-stop rewards given to the very people who are destroying Lee have to hurt.

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an 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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Mark TokarskiLongtime Rez Recent comment authors
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No one in their right mind accepts a worthless stock bonus – is Lee E about to be purchased for some reason?

Mark Tokarski

Has the stock been bought back or is it watered? It’s likely a sign of demise, as the company obviously does not have cash. The question becomes what will come of important community newspapers like the Gazette and Standard when the parent company goes under – the Copper Collar became the Lee collar. What next?

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