Saturday, January 12, 2008

Lee falling

More bad news for Lee Enterprises. $2.44 billion of goodwill? Dang, if they had just one more dollar, they could buy a cup of coffee.


JEL said...

The surviving daily newspapers seem to achieve hefty profit margins. Are these writedowns the result of accounting practices?

David said...

I'm no expert, but it sounds like when Lee bought the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, it paid a lot for goodwill; i.e., more than the hard assets alone would justify. Now the value of that goodwill is shrinking.

Dennis said...

Thanks, David, for the link to the Bloomberg story. Very interesting news about our old employer.

Ed Kemmick said...

Laugh all you want, but I just got a goodwill bonus of $1.2 million.

Dennis said...


Go for a real bonus.

Reminds me of a story about my first employer out of college - the Grand Junction (Colo.) Daily Sentinel. It was family-owned back in those days (mid-70s), and we young Turks groused about how the publisher would starve us for basic supplies such as copy-editing pencils (yes, pencils, back in those pre-electronic days). Meanwhile, he seemed to have plenty of money to fund a slick Arabian horse magazine published in Denver and a couple horse ranches. (Truly his hobby horse.)

Fast forward to 1981. Publisher, Ken Johnson, sold his paper to Cox (flagship paper - the Atlanta Constitution). And he shared a healthy portion of the portion of the sale proceeds with employees. I didn't hear the exact amounts, but got a sense from friends that some folks who had been there a while got healthy 5-figure checks.

And by then, I was back in Billings, toiling for the Gazette.

Missed out then and it appears from Ed's comments, missed out again. Dang it!

David said...

But Dennis, you never cashed your $500,000 goodwill check from the Outpost.