Lee Enterprises, Incorporated (NYSE:LEE) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Preliminary Transcript

Dec 12, 2019 • 10:00 am ET


Lee Enterprises, Incorporated (NYSE:LEE) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Preliminary Transcript


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Kevin Mowbray

anchored by agency level creative a complete suite of digital media, custom promotions and (inaudible) appropriate. Revenue for Amplified digital is up 31% in the fourth quarter with strong margins, the initiatives in the local retail accounts in our Amplified Digital Agency, leading steadfast in our efforts and are confident we can grow revenue from the local retail accounts. We continue to have large and engage audiences while half of our audience to continue to read our printed products, we are experiencing a significant increase in digital content consumption. We remain keenly focused on growing digital only subscriber base and our fourth quarter of 2019, we had 13,000 net new digital-only subscribers, bringing our total to 91,000.

In 2019 we grew digital only subscriptions 79.1%. We completed the transition News plus membership and rewards program in the fourth quarter, you may remember that the News plus program combined premium content and rewards and offers more access to digital content for our subscribers. New plus has five years of benefit and rewards. People access that include print and all digital assets exclude the tiers are digital only. We believe offering more engaging, local, regional and national content will stabilize our full access audience in stimulate continued digital only subscription growth. We expect some volatility in the subscription revenue in the coming quarters due to timing subscription revenue improved modestly in the fourth quarter, down 4.6% on a same-property basis

As the leading provider of integrated digital publishing and content management solutions, company continued its double-digit top line growth. Total revenue TownNews on a standalone basis, which includes revenue earned serving the markets increased 10.7% in fourth quarter. In 2019 revenue totaled 22.6 million with adjusted EBITDA margin of more than 44%. The revenue growth of TownNews is due to an increase in market share for their core CNS products among print and broadcast customers and we saw growth in video and streaming services as well.

With over 2000 customers utilizing our CMS and our dominant market share in the industry. We believe TownNews is poised to continue to drive substantial revenue growth. We expect TownNews further expand our market share, continuing to diversify their customer base is a rate broadcast in other markets and increase their average revenue per user by providing new products and services around the programmatic and data analysis.

In 2019, we saw 150% growth in these services alone. We continue to transform our business -- costs in the fourth quarter and by more details in a moment. Adjusted EBITDA totaled 31.1 million in the quarter compared to $35.9 million in the prior quarter. We believe we have the right core strategy can continue to produce industry-leading performance despite the challenges in the industry. To reiterate, overall we're pleased with our fourth quarter operating results and remain optimistic about the future. Now here's Tim to discuss additional financial highlights.

Timothy Millage

Thank you, Kevin and good morning everyone. We continue to transform our business model, drive efficiencies across our