DAVENPORT, Iowa--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- In an expansion of digital leadership, Lee Enterprises, Incorporated (NYSE: LEE), has called on top digital executive and longtime board member Gregory P. Schermer to focus exclusively on strategic opportunities for its 51 daily newspapers and digital media in 23 states.
Mary Junck, Lee chairman and chief executive officer, said Schermer will move from vice president of interactive media to a new position of vice president of strategy.
“With the exponential growth of digital opportunities, we look to Greg as our chief horizon-watching expert,” she said. “His leadership has made Lee an industry standout in digital initiatives and this new position will allow him to devote his full efforts toward identifying new and better ways to serve our audiences, advertisers and communities.”
Among his responsibilities, she said, will be actively developing strategic partnerships and seeking other opportunities that will help Lee drive revenue and build digital audiences, as well as continuing to represent Lee in significant collaborations that benefit the industry.
She said the remainder of Schermer’s current responsibilities will be assigned to another new position, vice president of digital development and operations, also reporting directly to her and responsible for creating and advancing digital products and services.
“We believe this intensified focus on both the future and the present will keep Lee at the forefront in harnessing digital opportunities,” she said. “We expect to fill the new position quickly. Until then, Greg will continue to oversee both strategy and development.”
Schermer, 58, joined Lee in 1989 and has led Lee’s digital expansion since 1998. He also served as corporate counsel from 1989 to 2006. He became a member of the Lee board of directors in 1999. Before joining Lee, he was a partner at the law firm of Hanson, O'Brien, Birney and Butler in Washington, D.C. He received a bachelor of arts degree from Amherst College in Massachusetts and a juris doctorate degree from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1980.
Among many industry contributions, he helped found The Newspaper Consortium, a group of 30 companies that represent nearly 800 newspapers, helping advertisers reach local audiences. He serves on the NAA Digital Advisory Committee. He also serves on the board of Lee's digital subsidiary, Townnews.com, an online service provider to more than 1,500 community and weekly newspapers. Among community activities in Davenport, he is chairman of the RCPA Board, the owner of the Adler Theatre, and a board and executive committee member of the Quad Cities Symphony Orchestra.
“I’m delighted to focus my efforts to assist our board, management team and enterprises to identify new products, partnerships and digital services, and new ways of delivering them,” he said. “As the pace of digital technology change continues to accelerate, so do the opportunities and pressures to innovate. It’s an exciting time for our industry.”
Lee Enterprises is a leading provider of local news and information, and a major platform for advertising, in its markets, with 47 daily newspapers and a joint interest in four others, rapidly growing digital products and nearly 300 specialty publications in 23 states. Lee's newspapers have circulation of 1.3 million daily and 1.5 million Sunday, reaching nearly four million readers in print alone. Lee's websites and mobile and tablet products attracted 22.2 million unique visitors in June 2012. Lee's markets include St. Louis, MO; Lincoln, NE; Madison, WI; Davenport, IA; Billings, MT; Bloomington, IL; and Tucson, AZ. Lee Common Stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol LEE. For more information about Lee, please visit www.lee.net.
FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS — The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a “safe harbor” for forward-looking statements. This news release contains information that may be deemed forward-looking that is based largely on our current expectations, and is subject to certain risks, trends and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated. Among such risks, trends and other uncertainties, which in some instances are beyond our control, are our ability to generate cash flows and maintain liquidity sufficient to service our debt, comply with or obtain amendments or waivers of the financial covenants contained in our credit facilities, if necessary, and to refinance our debt as it comes due. Other risks and uncertainties include the impact and duration of continuing adverse economic conditions, changes in advertising demand, potential changes in newsprint and other commodity prices, energy costs, interest rates, labor costs, legislative and regulatory rulings, difficulties in achieving planned expense reductions, maintaining employee and customer relationships, increased capital costs, maintaining our listing status on the NYSE, competition and other risks detailed from time to time in our publicly filed documents. Any statements that are not statements of historical fact (including statements containing the words “may”, “will”, “would”, “could”, “believe”, “expect”, “anticipate”, “intend”, “plan”, “project”, “consider” and similar expressions) generally should be considered forward-looking statements. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements, which are made as of the date of this release. We do not undertake to publicly update or revise our forward-looking statements.
Dan Hayes, 563-383-2100
Source: Lee Enterprises