Lee Enterprises, Incorporated (NYSE: LEE) has selected the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for its highest company honor, 2012 Enterprise of the Year. Mary Junck, Lee chairman and chief executive officer, cited the newspaper’s strong financial results and leadership in companywide initiatives, as well as other achievements that led to 2012 Lee President’s Awards for marketing and news. “Publisher Kevin Mowbray and his management team have led outstanding performance in St. Louis, including significant growth in operating cash flow,” she said. “They have been leaders in digital audience growth and are always an integral part of key revenue initiatives and other forward-looking projects across the company, with considerable contributions from their sales and marketing executives, editors, digital media services group, social media leadership council and digital product development teams. Their can-do attitude has transformed the culture in St. Louis and raised our levels of success throughout Lee.” A team from the Post-Dispatch received a 2012 President’s Award for initiatives that have driven growth in circulation revenue. Another team received a President’s Award for news, and a third team shared a President’s Award for helping roll out paid digital content in other markets. St. Louis also was an Enterprise of the Year Finalist in 2010. The Post-Dispatch and STLtoday.com are ranked by Scarborough Research as delivering the fifth highest combination of newspaper and digital audience reach of the 25 most populated U.S. markets. Other operations in the St. Louis business unit include the Suburban Journals and Ladue News community publications, Feast magazine and St. Louis’ Best Bridal. The combined products reach 75% of adults in the St. Louis area each week. As the most widely used local digital site, STLtoday.com posted 11.4 million web, mobile and tablet page views in the last year, an increase of 122%, leading to substantial growth in digital revenue. Mobile apps include Cardinals, Rams, High School Sports and Hip Hops, and the News app has been downloaded by more local consumers than apps from USA Today, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.
Six other finalists for Enterprise of the Year are being honored for superior financial performance and other achievements:
- Lee Agri-Media, a network of five weekly and six biweekly farm publications and digital sites serving nearly 425,000 households in 13 states in the Midwest and Upper Rockies. Lee Agri-Media was Lee’s 2008 Enterprise of the Year and was a finalist in 2005 and 2006.
- The Lincoln Journal Star and its strategic business unit in eastern Nebraska, which also includes daily newspapers in Beatrice, Columbus and Fremont. Lincoln was honored as an Enterprise of the Year Finalist in 2002 and 2008.
- The Times of Northwest Indiana, which won Enterprise of the Year in 2010. The publisher, Bill Masterson Jr., recently was honored by Editor & Publisher as national 2012 Publisher of the Year. The Times also received a 2012 President’s Award for Spirit.
- TownNews.com, which provides state of the art technology, design services, sales support, consulting and training for more than 1,500 newspapers in the United States and Canada. TownNews also was a finalist for Enterprise of the Year in 2004 and 2008.
- The Arizona Daily Star in Tucson, also a winner of two 2012 President’s Awards for innovation, including an initiative that has resulted in the newspaper now delivering 80% of the preprinted grocery advertising in the market.
- The Times-News in Twin Falls, Idaho, and the Elko Daily Free Press in Nevada. In addition to posting superior operating performance, the strategic business unit received two 2012 President’s Awards – in Twin Falls for news, and in Elko for innovation.