This is a quote from the SEC 10-Q statement filed in August by Lee Enterprises, owner of the Arizona Daily Star and bunch of other newspapers:
Due to our federal and state net operating loss carryforwards and based on historical levels of performance, we do not expect any significant income tax payments in the current year.
That is but a symptom of the problems at the Star. No taxes mean no profit. No profit means revenue decreases and the need for more cuts.
Here are the circulation totals for the Star as reported in the company’s 2015 annual 10k SEC filing along with population numbers for Pima County. The first number is daily circulation, the second is Sunday and the third number is county population.
Daily Sunday County
2006 104,731 156,694 975,476
2012 82,305 133,558 992,395
2015 57,735 102,595 1,010,025
Daily circulation has decreased by about half and Sunday circulation by a third. Meanwhile the county’s population has increased by a modest 3.5 percent. Thus the Star reaches about 6 percent of the population on weekdays and a little more than 10 percent on Sundays. It’s likely the next 10k will show greater circulation losses. Lee’s August filing reported a decrease in circulation revenue. It’s impressive that the Star still attracts advertising.
It is sheer speculation but there may come a time when Lee finally gives up and sells its 50 percent to Gannett, thereby allowing the Arizona Republic to publish a Tucson edition.
The Republic, mirabile dictu, still has news.