Lee Enterprises signs deal to manage Berkshire Hathaway's newspaper, digital operations

Lee Enterprises – owner of the Quad City Times and 48 other media properties – today (6/26) announced it has agreed to a five-year deal to manage Berkshire Hathaway's newspapers and digital operations in 30 markets.

Davenport-based Lee would be paid $5 million a year by GH Media, plus "a significant percentage of profits over benchmarks," according to the company's news release.

Lee stocked jumped 62 cents, nearly 26 percent, to $3.03 per share in early morning trading.

“Berkshire Hathaway has been a significant investor across our capital structures for years, most recently in the $94 million refinancing of our Pulitzer Notes, which we redeemed in 2015, two years ahead of schedule," Mary Junck, Executive Chairman of Lee, stated in the news release. "Our relationship has been positive for both and has become a foundation for us to come together in this agreement.”

According to Junck, the arrangement will enable Lee "to generate more cash flow, speed our debt reduction, enhance our industry leadership and further advance our abilities. . ."

BH Media will retain editorial control of its newspaper and digital operations, and strategic decisions will be made jointly. The management agreement takes effect July 2.

Among the BH Media properties are the Omaha World-Herald, the Richmond Times-Dispatch and the Tulsa World.

BH Media CEO and World-Herald Publisher Terry Kroeger is stepping down as a result of the management agreement with Lee, according to an article this morning in the World-Herald.

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