Lee Enterprises rewards top executives as revenues shrink

Media blogger Jim Romenesko passed along this item that should warm the hearts of Guild members who suffered financial hardship through wage cuts and multiple furloughs:

On November 11, St. Louis Post-Dispatch parent Lee Enterprises reported a $1.71 per share loss and 9 percent revenue decline for the quarter. Lee’s stock fell 5.2 percent on the news.

On November 27 — Thanksgiving Eve — Lee execs were treated to stock bonuses. Here’s what they got:

Chief executive officer Mary Junck — 200,000 shares
Chief financial officer Carl Schmidt — 50,000 shares
Chief operating officer Kevin Mowbray — 50,000 shares
Vice president of sales and marketing Michael R. Gulledge — 22,000 shares
Vice president of interactive Gregory Schermer — 16,000 shares
Vice president of publishing Greg Veon — 10,000 shares

The executives began rewarding themselves in 2012 by lifting their executive pay freeze after three years. This news generated harsh reactions last year, especially from journalists who lost lost money and/or their jobs through the relentless Lee cost-cutting.

The wholesale workforce reduction has compromised the quality of Lee’s print and digital products. At least one analyst is advising folks to dump Lee stock because of this cost-cutting.