DAVENPORT, Iowa (November 13, 2018) — Kevin Mowbray, president and chief executive officer of Lee Enterprises, Incorporated (NYSE: LEE), announced today the winners of the 2018 Lee President’s Awards for outstanding journalism, innovation, and spirit.

“These awards represent only a small sample of the exceptional work produced throughout the company in 2018,” he said. “In recognizing these winners, we also acknowledge the exceptional day-to-day work done for the readers, advertisers and communities we serve.”

EXCELLENCE IN NEWS

The news award recognizes outstanding achievement in any aspect of print and online journalism, from reporting and writing to photography, video, graphics and presentation. Receiving awards are: 

  • The Arizona Daily Star for “Fixing Arizona’s Foster Care Crisis” a project aimed at finding better ways to keep families together and help troubled parents learn to better care for their children. The project received grant funding to help conduct three roundtable discussions, an online survey and allow for travel. From this, a full report emerged in English and in Spanish, which included editorials, videos, a special newsletter, an animated illustration, a community forum and even a commissioned play that is now in production.

    Primary contributors include: Emily Bregel, Norma Coile, Sarah Garrecht Gassen, Patty Machelor, Mamta Popat, Jill Jorden Spitz and Perla Trevizo.

  • The Lincoln Journal Star for coverage of the state’s first execution in more than two decades. The Journal Star’s coverage gave readers glimpses into the lives of convicted murderer Carey Dean Moore and his victims as well as the legal wrangling – including an open records lawsuit brought by the Journal Star -- that threatened to halt the execution right up until the end.

    Primary contributors include: JoAnne Young, Margaret Reist, Lori Pilger, Don Walton, Shelly Kulhanek, Todd Henrichs, Zach Pluhacek, Eric Gregory, Victoria Ayotte, Gwyneth Roberts, Emily Blobaum, John Schreier and Emily Case.

  • The Montana Standard in Butte, Montana for an investigation of the Montana supervisor of the federal Food Safety & Inspection Service, a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This series exposed that the service repeatedly cited nonexistent "regulations" to discourage small meat plants from opening or expanding, and made continued operation of such plants prohibitively expensive. 

    Primary contributors include: David McCumber and photographer Walter Hinick.

  • The Santa Maria Times for a five-part series examining the monumental impacts that legalization of recreational cannabis posed for their agricultural region in the areas of land use, money, science, law enforcement and education.

    Primary contributors include: Willis Jacobson, Mike Hodgson, Mathew Burciaga, Gina Kim, Joe Bailey, Logan Anderson, Jason Anderson, Len Wood, Emily Slater, Marga Cooley

  • The St. Louis Post-Dispatch for coverage of the trial of a police officer charged with first degree murder. For more than a month, a judge had been considering the case, and when a not-guilty verdict was announced, once again protesters took to the streets.

    Contributors include the Post-Dispatch staff.

  • The Wisconsin State Journal for its exploration of Madison's famed Yahara chain of lakes. The five-day project about the lakes -- including stories on the final day about ongoing water management challenges - proved prescient when the region endured devastating rainfall and flooding about two weeks later.

    Primary contributors include: Steven Verburg, Mark Pitsch, John Hart, Amber Arnold, Steve Apps, Jason Klein and Laura Sparks. 

INNOVATION IN DIGITAL AUDIENCE

The award for innovation in digital audience recognizes an individual or team for creating or significantly advancing an idea that strengthens digital audience. Receiving awards are:

  • The Arizona Daily Star for its development of the Wildcaster app. Leveraging the Daily Star’s highly skilled sports staff, the app includes an interactive podcast, an interactive report card, videos, schedules and stories along with in-person events such as live podcasts and weekly game-day giveaways.

    Primary contributors include: Ryan Finley, Rob Wisner, Becky Pallack, Ryan Lopez, Teri Lynn Cross, Justin Spears, Michael Lev, Bruce Pascoe, Thomas Hruska and Sean Kasun.

  • The Billings Gazette for its production of a weekly “Yellow 88” email newsletter highlighting the weekly events of the 1988 fires in Yellowstone National Park. The emails saw more than double the typical open rate and the click rates were more than three times the average rate.

    The primary contributor is Karen Scherting.

  • The Central Illinois News Group for growing local email lists as high as 42% by deploying a marketing campaign that expanded the visibility of its email sign-ups on its websites and allowing users to sign-up for local email lists with a single click.

    Primary contributors include: Ashley Fenner and Alec Bauer.

  • The Quad-City Times for “Paper Jams,” an exclusively digital concert series featuring local and touring musicians performing live in Quad-City Times newsroom. The initiative has been a hit with readers and advertisers alike, garnering an annual sponsorship from Augustana College.

    Primary contributors include: Amanda Hancock, Matt Christensen, Codell Rodriguez and Lillian Johnson.

  • The St. Louis Post-Dispatch for its use of its archives to unleash new content, resulting in its biggest area of traffic growth online in the past year. In the last 12 months, online traffic for archival content is up in users by 35 percent while archival page views have risen 208 percent.

    Contributors include the Post-Dispatch staff.

  • The Wisconsin State Journal for the launch of a podcast to tap into one of the lifebloods of the Madison marketplace -- politics. "Center Stage, with Milfred and Hands" offers a sharp, often funny conversation between the State Journal’s two primary opinion writers.

    Primary contributors include: Scott Milfred and Phil Hands.

Judges for Excellence in News and Innovation in Digital Audience were Kathleen Carroll, board chair of the Committee to Protect Journalists and former executive editor of the Associated Press; Richard Cole, dean emeritus of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Joe Conason, editor-in-chief of The National Memo; Suki Dardarian, senior managing editor and Vice President at the Minneapolis Star Tribune; Richard Green, editor of Courier Journal in Louisville, Ky., and midwest regional editor of the USA TODAY Network; and attorney, art historian and author Amy Herman.

INNOVATION IN REVENUE

The award for innovation in revenue recognizes an individual or team for creating or significantly advancing an idea that drives revenue. Receiving awards are:

  • The Arizona Daily Star for its Readers’ Choice program. After doubling the number of nominations and voters from the prior year, this local “best of” initiative combined print and digital advertising with a high profile event to grow revenue more than 84 percent from the prior year.

    Primary contributors include: John Kerr, Heather Locke, Ryan Lopez, Kim Graves and Judy Loya.

  • The Lincoln Journal Star for Inspire, an event created in 2015 to recognize female leaders in Lincoln who are making a positive impact in the community and young women who are preparing to be the next generation of inspiring leaders. This year’s event hosted 800 attendees and exceeded the $100,000 mark in revenue sold through sponsorships and ticket sales.

    Primary contributors include: Ava Thomas, Mary Weixelman, Natalia Wiita, Amy Brandt and Staci Svendgard.

  • The St. Louis Post-Dispatch for Brand Ave. Studios, a custom content initiative that created a dedicated team to maximize revenue opportunities in the healthcare, education and retail categories and create a new line of products and services across print, digital and social media platforms.  By the end of the year, this team was responsible for more than $1,050,000 in billed revenue, representing $465,500 in controllable retail.

    Primary contributors include: Teresa Griffin, Sarah Gerrein, Kelly Winkeler and Denise Kosarek.

  • The Times and Democrat in Orangeburg, South Carolina for the "Top 10" special section, which  focused on attributes of Orangeburg County listed as the Top 10 Reasons to choose this county in which to live, visit or do business. It was published by The Times and Democrat and sponsored by the Orangeburg County Development Commission. The idea was shared with Tier 3 newspapers in Lee and resulted in advertising revenue in FY18.

    Primary contributors include: Kyla Fraser, Lee Harter, Gene Zaleski, Chris Huff, Dionne Gleaton, Martha Rose Brown, Ramona Garrick, Nicole Smoak and Cathy Hughes

Receiving honorable mention is The Times Media Co. for the launch of the Salute to Labor on Labor Day weekend to recognize the hard work and tenacity that has made Northwest Indiana an industrial Mecca. The special themed edition featured labor-related content produced by the newsroom for each section. The edition also featured themed advertisements throughout, many with compelling advertorials. Contributors included: Chris White, Joe Battistoni, John Gregorio, Scott Oostman, Roxanne Olejnik and Marc Chase.

Also receiving honorable mention is Sioux City Journal Communications for its use of Facebook to create its own version of a “live remote” via Facebook live.  This past year, it generated more than $35,000 in digital revenue. Contributors included: Bruce Miller, Chad Pauling, Lisa Chesher, Cynthia Donovan and Angie Dye.

Judges for the Innovation in Revenue were Brad Harmon, President and Publisher at Dispatch Media Group and President, U.S. Central for GateHouse Media; Barbara Cohen, president and founder of Kannon Consulting; and Herbert W. Moloney III, an independent director of Lee and longtime advertising and publishing executive. 

OUTSTANDING SALES PERFORMANCE

The Outstanding Sales and Performance Award recognizes sales executives demonstrating extraordinary results, creativity and tenacity while driving revenue for our company. Our winners exhibited a strong entrepreneurial spirit and a relentless drive to close sales.

The 2018 winners are Christopher Staszak of Madison Newspapers Inc. in Madison, Wisconsin, and Amy Peters of The Times Media Company in Munster, Indiana. Receiving honorable mention is Taber Randolph of the Lincoln Journal Star.

The winners of the Outstanding Sales Performance Award were chosen by a combination of field and corporate executives within Lee Enterprises. They were: Nathan Bekke, Paul Farrell, Ray Farris, Astrid Garcia, Cathy Hughes, Ava Thomas and Chris White.

LEE SPIRIT

The Lee Spirit Award recognizes outstanding personal commitment to our company and the people we serve.

Being honored is:

  • Will Doolittle of the Post-Star in Glens Falls, New York. Will is a 25-year veteran of the Post-Star and the Glens Falls community and has served roles as night editor, features editor, Sunday editor and projects editor. Last Year, Doolittle and his wife, Bella, began a podcast and series of columns to share their experiences following her diagnosis of early onset Alzheimer's Disease.
    In that first column, Will showed brutal honesty: “The doctor who delivered the diagnosis told Bella she had eight years left, based on the average. Other doctors have said the progression is unpredictable and can take much longer. But they all agree Alzheimer's is fatal and there is no cure."
    In another column, he described their agreement going forward. Will would let Bella know when she had done something "Alzheimerish," but Will admitted he often did not have the heart to tell her.
    He walked readers through Bella's early retirement and the crunch that would put on their finances. He shared the reaction of readers across the region when their story was recounted in a segment on North Country Public Radio that went national, and then wrote this heartbreaking line, "We know the hours we have left are fewer than we expected."
    Said Managing Editor Ken Tingley, “I believe Will and Bella's goal has always been to express that brutal honesty in the hopes it would help the next couple down the road.”

ABOUT LEE

Lee Enterprises is a leading provider of local news and information, and a major platform for advertising, with daily newspapers, rapidly growing digital products and nearly 300 weekly and specialty publications serving 49 markets in 21 states. Year to date, Lee's newspapers have average circulation of 0.8 million daily and 1.1 million Sunday, and are estimated to reach almost three million readers in print alone. 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.

Contact:

Charles Arms

Director of Communications

IR@lee.net

(563) 383-2100

DAVENPORT, Iowa (November 13, 2018) — Kevin Mowbray, president and chief executive officer of Lee Enterprises, Incorporated (NYSE: LEE), announced today the winners of the 2018 Lee President’s Awards for outstanding journalism, innovation, and spirit.

 

“These awards represent only a small sample of the exceptional work produced throughout the company in 2018,” he said. “In recognizing these winners, we also acknowledge the exceptional day-to-day work done for the readers, advertisers and communities we serve.”

 

EXCELLENCE IN NEWS

 

The news award recognizes outstanding achievement in any aspect of print and online journalism, from reporting and writing to photography, video, graphics and presentation. Receiving awards are:

 

·         The Arizona Daily Star for “Fixing Arizona’s Foster Care Crisis” a project aimed at finding better ways to keep families together and help troubled parents learn to better care for their children. The project received grant funding to help conduct three roundtable discussions, an online survey and allow for travel. From this, a full report emerged in English and in Spanish, which included editorials, videos, a special newsletter, an animated illustration, a community forum and even a commissioned play that is now in production.

Primary contributors include: Emily Bregel, Norma Coile, Sarah Garrecht Gassen, Patty Machelor, Mamta Popat, Jill Jorden Spitz and Perla Trevizo.

·         The Lincoln Journal Star for coverage of the state’s first execution on more than two decades. The Journal Star’s coverage gave readers glimpses into the lives of convicted murderer Carey Dean Moore and his victims as well as the legal wrangling – including an open records lawsuit brought by the Journal Star -- that threatened to halt the execution right up until the end.

Primary contributors include: JoAnne Young, Margaret Reist, Lori Pilger, Don Walton, Shelly Kulhanek, Todd Henrichs, Zach Pluhacek, Eric Gregory, Victoria Ayotte, Gwyneth Roberts, Emily Blobaum, John Schreier and Emily Case.

·         The Montana Standard in Butte, Montana for an investigation of the Montana supervisor of the federal Food Safety & Inspection Service, a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This series exposed that the service repeatedly cited nonexistent "regulations" to discourage small meat plants from opening or expanding, and made continued operation of such plants prohibitively expensive. 

Primary contributors include: David McCumber and photographer Walter Hinick.

·         The Santa Maria Times for a five-part series examining the monumental impacts that legalization of recreational cannabis posed for their agricultural region in the areas of land use, money, science, law enforcement and education.

Primary contributors include: Willis Jacobson, Mike Hodgson, Mathew Burciaga, Gina Kim, Joe Bailey, Logan Anderson, Jason Anderson, Len Wood, Emily Slater, Marga Cooley

·         The St. Louis Post-Dispatch for coverage of the trial of a police officer charged with first degree murder. For more than a month, a judge had been considering the case, and when a not-guilty verdict was announced, once again protesters took to the streets.

Contributors include the Post-Dispatch staff.

·         The Wisconsin State Journalfor its exploration of Madison's famed Yahara chain of lakes. The five-day project about the lakes -- including stories on the final day about ongoing water management challenges - proved prescient when the region endured devastating rainfall and flooding about two weeks later.

Primary contributors include: Steven Verburg, Mark Pitsch, John Hart, Amber Arnold, Steve Apps, Jason Klein and Laura Sparks. 

 

INNOVATION IN DIGITAL AUDIENCE

 

The award for innovation in digital audience recognizes an individual or team for creating or significantly advancing an idea that strengthens digital audience. Receiving awards are:

·         The Arizona Daily Star for its development of the Wildcaster app. Leveraging the Daily Star’s highly skilled sports staff, the app includes an interactive podcast, an interactive report card, videos, schedules and stories along with in-person events such as live podcasts and weekly game-day giveaways.

Primary contributors include: Ryan Finley, Rob Wisner, Becky Pallack, Ryan Lopez, Teri Lynn Cross, Justin Spears, Michael Lev, Bruce Pascoe, Thomas Hruska and Sean Kasun.

·         The Billings Gazette for its production of a weekly “Yellow 88” email newsletter highlighting the weekly events of the 1988 fires in Yellowstone National Park. The emails saw more than double the typical open rate and the click rates were more than three times the average rate.

The primary contributor is Karen Scherting.

·         The Central Illinois News Group for growing local email lists as high as 42% by deploying a marketing campaign that expanded the visibility of its email sign-ups on its websites and allowing users to sign-up for local email lists with a single click.

Primary contributors include: Ashley Fenner and Alec Bauer.

·         The Quad-City Times for “Paper Jams,” an exclusively digital concert series featuring local and touring musicians performing live in Quad-City Times newsroom. The initiative has been a hit with readers and advertisers alike, garnering an annual sponsorship from Augustana College.

 

Primary contributors include: Amanda Hancock, Matt Christensen, Codell Rodriguez and Lillian Johnson.

·         The St. Louis Post-Dispatch for its use of its archives to unleash new content, resulting in its biggest area of traffic growth online in the past year. In the last 12 months, online traffic for archival content is up in users by 35 percent while archival page views have risen 208 percent.

Contributors include the Post-Dispatch staff.

·         The Wisconsin State Journal for the launch of a podcast to tap into one of the lifebloods of the Madison marketplace -- politics. "Center Stage, with Milfred and Hands" offers a sharp, often funny conversation between the State Journal’s two primary opinion writers.

Primary contributors include: Scott Milfred and Phil Hands.

Judges for Excellence in News and Innovation in Digital Audience were Kathleen Carroll, board chair of the Committee to Protect Journalists and former executive editor of the Associated Press; Richard Cole, dean emeritus of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Joe Conason, editor-in-chief of The National Memo; Suki Dardarian, senior managing editor and Vice President at the Minneapolis Star Tribune; Richard Green, editor of Courier Journal in Louisville, Ky., and midwest regional editor of the USA TODAY Network; and attorney, art historian and author Amy Herman.

 

INNOVATION IN REVENUE

 

The award for innovation in revenue recognizes an individual or team for creating or significantly advancing an idea that drives revenue. Receiving awards are:

 

·         The Arizona Daily Star for its Readers’ Choice program. After doubling the number of nominations and voters from the prior year, this local “best of” initiative combined print and digital advertising with a high profile event to grow revenue more than 84 percent from the prior year.

Primary contributors include: John Kerr, Heather Locke, Ryan Lopez, Kim Graves and Judy Loya.

·         The Lincoln Journal Star for Inspire, an event created in 2015 to recognize female leaders in Lincoln who are making a positive impact in the community and young women who are preparing to be the next generation of inspiring leaders. This year’s event hosted 800 attendees and exceeded the $100,000 mark in revenue sold through sponsorships and ticket sales.

Primary contributors include: Ava Thomas, Mary Weixelman, Natalia Wiita, Amy Brandt and Staci Svendgard.

·         The St. Louis Post-Dispatch for Brand Ave. Studios, a custom content initiative that created a dedicated team to maximize revenue opportunities in the healthcare, education and retail categories and create a new line of products and services across print, digital and social media platforms.  By the end of the year, this team was responsible for more than $1,050,000 in billed revenue, representing $465,500 in controllable retail.

Primary contributors include: Teresa Griffin, Sarah Gerrein, Kelly Winkeler and Denise Kosarek.

·         The Times and Democrat in Orangeburg, South Carolina for the "Top 10" special section, which  focused on attributes of Orangeburg County listed as the Top 10 Reasons to choose this county in which to live, visit or do business. It was published by The Times and Democrat and sponsored by the Orangeburg County Development Commission. The idea was shared with Tier 3 newspapers in Lee and resulted in advertising revenue in FY18.

Primary contributors include: Kyla Fraser, Lee Harter, Gene Zaleski, Chris Huff, Dionne Gleaton, Martha Rose Brown, Ramona Garrick, Nicole Smoak and Cathy Hughes

Receiving honorable mention is The Times Media Co. for the launch of the Salute to Labor on Labor Day weekend to recognize the hard work and tenacity that has made Northwest Indiana an industrial Mecca. The special themed edition featured labor-related content produced by the newsroom for each section. The edition also featured themed advertisements throughout, many with compelling advertorials. Contributors included: Chris White, Joe Battistoni, John Gregorio, Scott Oostman, Roxanne Olejnik and Marc Chase.

 

Also receiving honorable mention is Sioux City Journal Communications for its use of Facebook to create its own version of a “live remote” via Facebook live.  This past year, it generated more than $35,000 in digital revenue. Contributors included: Bruce Miller, Chad Pauling, Lisa Chesher, Cynthia Donovan and Angie Dye.

 

Judges for the Innovation in Revenue were Brad Harmon, President and Publisher at Dispatch Media Group and President, U.S. Central for GateHouse Media; Barbara Cohen, president and founder of Kannon Consulting; and Herbert W. Moloney III, an independent director of Lee and longtime advertising and publishing executive.

Outstanding Sales Performance

 

The Outstanding Sales and Performance Award recognizes sales executives demonstrating extraordinary results, creativity and tenacity while driving revenue for our company. Our winners exhibited a strong entrepreneurial spirit and a relentless drive to close sales.

 

The 2018 winners are Christopher Staszak of Madison Newspapers Inc. in Madison, Wisconsin, and Amy Peters of The Times Media Company in Munster, Indiana. Receiving honorable mention is Taber Randolph of the Lincoln Journal Star.

 

The winners of the Outstanding Sales Performance Award were chosen by a combination of field and corporate executives within Lee Enterprises. They were: Nathan Bekke, Paul Farrell, Ray Farris, Astrid Garcia, Cathy Hughes, Ava Thomas and Chris White.

  

 

LEE SPIRIT

 

The Lee Spirit Award recognizes outstanding personal commitment to our company and the people we serve.

 

Being honored is:

 

·         Will Doolittle of the Post-Star in Glens Falls, New York. Will is a 25-year veteran of the Post-Star and the Glens Falls community and has served roles as night editor, features editor, Sunday editor and projects editor. Last Year, Doolittle and his wife, Bella, began a podcast and series of columns to share their experiences following her diagnosis of early onset Alzheimer's Disease.

In that first column, Will showed brutal honesty: “The doctor who delivered the diagnosis told Bella she had eight years left, based on the average. Other doctors have said the progression is unpredictable and can take much longer. But they all agree Alzheimer's is fatal and there is no cure."

In another column, he described their agreement going forward. Will would let Bella know when she had done something "Alzheimerish," but Will admitted he often did not have the heart to tell her.

He walked readers through Bella's early retirement and the crunch that would put on their finances. He shared the reaction of readers across the region when their story was recounted in a segment on North Country Public Radio that went national, and then wrote this heartbreaking line, "We know the hours we have left are fewer than we expected."

Said Managing EditorKen Tingley, “I believe Will and Bella's goal has always been to express that brutal honesty in the hopes it would help the next couple down the road.”

ABOUT LEE

Lee Enterprises is a leading provider of local news and information, and a major platform for advertising, with daily newspapers, rapidly growing digital products and nearly 300 weekly and specialty publications serving 49 markets in 21 states. Year to date, Lee's newspapers have average circulation of 0.8 million daily and 1.1 million Sunday, and are estimated to reach almost three million readers in print alone. 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.

 

Contact:

Charles Arms

Director of Communications

IR@lee.net

(563) 383-2100