Lee Enterprises, the parent company of The Times Media Co., reported a third-quarter profit as digital advertising grew and cost reductions continued at the newspaper publisher.
The Davenport, Iowa-based company posted a $1.8 million profit for the third quarter that ended June 30, or 3 cents a share, up from a $1.5 million loss, or a 3 cent per share loss, a year ago.
Lee reduced its debt load by $19.5 million in the quarter, bringing its total debt to $873.5 million.
Digital revenue in the quarter totaled $19.9 million, up 4.9 percent from a year ago, and mobile advertising revenue grew 89.2 percent to $1.5 million.
Overall, operating revenue fell 2.8 percent to $167 million as combined print and digital advertising and marketing services revenue decreased 5.7 percent.
Operating expenses declined as compensation decreased 8.3 percent and newsprint and ink expenses decreased 15.3 percent in the quarter compared with a year ago.
“Continued digital growth and cost reduction again resulted in strong, and improving, cash flow and operating income, enabling even faster debt reduction,” Lee's chairman and CEO Mary Junck said in a statement. “Looking ahead, we see many more digital opportunities, especially in subscription revenue, mobile advertising and digital marketing services.”
Lee publishes 46 daily newspapers and holds a joint interest in four other newspapers.