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Lee Enterprises

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by DeskMonkey1, May 13, 2016.

  1. DeskMonkey1

    DeskMonkey1 Active Member

    I got an email from Lee Enterprises wanting to talk to me about an opening in one of their design centers. Anyone have any horror stories about Lee or design centers in general?

    Any info would be appreciated. Thanks
  2. cjericho

    cjericho Well-Known Member

    Lee Jeans? They're still around?
  3. Bradley Guire

    Bradley Guire Well-Known Member

    I knew a lot of folks at Lee who bought discounted stock when it was at $45 a share. Lost everything when it bottomed out at a nickel. I was there during furloughs and bankruptcy. I somehow still got a raise every year. But I've been out five years now. That's all I got.
  4. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    I believe they still have Mary Junck sucking up a couple of million a year in bonuses for doing nothing. That's all I have.
    wicked likes this.
  5. wicked

    wicked Well-Known Member

    Mary Junck has done more (in regards to her own bank account) with less (revenue) than perhaps any other newspaper CEO.
    Baron Scicluna likes this.
  6. LanceyHoward

    LanceyHoward Well-Known Member

    Lee is financially underwater. In the last fiscal year EBIDTA (which is basically your annual cash run rate) was about 156 million. As of the end of the last year total debt was 922 million, or about 5.9 times EBITDA. Newspapers are lucky to sell for for five times EBITDA. That's why the stock is only two bucks a share.

    Revenues are declining by two-three percent a year. So this is a company that will continue to be trying to trim costs to stay afloat so furlough days, etc. are probably in your future if you accept the job.. That is true of most of the newspaper industry but Lee, along with McClatchy, are the two chains with the biggest relative debt burdens.
    Last edited: May 15, 2016
  7. wicked

    wicked Well-Known Member

    Which is astonishing, given that they should've been able to dump more of that debt in bankruptcy.
  8. Mauve_Avenger

    Mauve_Avenger Member

    So yes, DeskMonkey, expect gainful employment with Lee Enterprises.
  9. micropolitan guy

    micropolitan guy Well-Known Member

    My local Lee paper, where I worked for nearly 28 years, has been "designed" by people in Lincoln, and now Madison, for the last 18 months or so. It absolutely sucks. No consistency in design; far more errors than in the past (stories ending mid-sentence, cutline screwups, etc.), agate on the high school stories has been reduced to virtually nothing, and we now don't get late scores because deadlines have been moved up because the whole process takes longer. I don't blame the local guys, they are doing what their bosses tell them they have to do, and it's actually more work, not less.

    Lee Enterprises was a great outfit to work for when I started in 1979 at one of its heartland papers. But it just got cheaper and cheaper through the late 1990s and 2000s as the poor management decisions continued to pile up. Stock dividends were eliminated, matching to the retirement fund disappeared, the staff kept shrinking and shrinking, and the benefits plan got costlier and harder to use (luckily I was covered elsewhere), while upper management continued to rake in big annual bonuses. I did very well with the stock; luckily I'd sold most of it by the time in absolutely tanked and I got out of the 401K plan as soon as I left the company.

    Lee sucks. The local paper abandoned the downtown building where I worked about two years ago for an office in a strip mall. The old building (like the company) is now an empty, deteriorating wreck, awaiting demolition. How apropos.
  10. wicked

    wicked Well-Known Member

    I've never paid more for a worse health plan than when I worked at Lee. That includes stops working for Ogden and Gatehouse.
  11. Lt.Drebin

    Lt.Drebin Member

    I've worked for both Lee and Gannett. They both suck, but Gannett significantly more so, in my experience. Gannett has far more heartless, penny-pinching higher-ups than Lee.
    But working in telemarketing would be a far better option than working for either of these companies...
  12. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Well-Known Member

    I have never worked for Lee so I have nothing insightful to add. I just wanted to say newspapers suck. Carry on.
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