Lee Enterprises, Incorporated (NYSE: LEE) has deployed a major upgrade of its applications for iPhone and Android smartphones in all 52 of its newspaper markets, improving mobile delivery of local news, information and advertising throughout the day. Greg Schermer, Lee vice president for interactive media, said the advanced apps include an improved user interface, expanded content and new advertising opportunities. “We’ve added features our readers have been asking for -- detailed weather forecasts, classified advertising, and obituaries," he said. "We've also added the ability for users to access our deeply discounted deals of the day via a 'deals' tab." Schermer noted that the apps enable users to sign up for breaking news alerts and notices about daily deals on their smartphones. Joyce Dehli, Lee vice president for news, said the upgraded apps showcase the commitment of Lee's journalists to delivering the latest local news to the company's fast-growing mobile audience. "During the past two years, our newsrooms have dramatically increased their capacity to report news as it occurs around the clock, in formats that serve mobile audiences' desire for immediacy and utility," she said. "Our daily newspapers continue to lead the industry in providing smartphone users with access to local news and information on these devices," Suzanna Frank, Lee vice president for audience, said. "Downloads of our smartphone apps are up 308 percent versus February of 2011 and we expect, with the added features and functionality in this release, that those numbers will continue to climb. Our total mobile views are up 139 percent to 31.5 million versus February of last year.” Mary Junck, chairman and chief executive officer, said mobile audience and revenue growth are among Lee's top priorities. "In addition to improving our mobile audiences’ experience with our apps, these upgraded apps afford Lee opportunities to drive additional revenue through new advertising positions and highly interactive rich media ads. These will allow our advertiser customers to engage with a rapidly growing and attractive segment of our audience and drive even greater results to their businesses. ”
Lee Enterprises is a leading provider of local news and information, and a major platform for advertising, in its markets, with 48 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 1.7 million Sunday, reaching nearly four million readers in print alone. Lee's websites and mobile and tablet products attracted 22.7 million unique visitors in January 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. More information about Lee is available at lee.net.