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Morris Publishing Announces 2007 Third-Quarter Results

Morris Publishing Announces 2007 Third-Quarter Results

AUGUSTA, GA — November 12, 2007 — Morris Publishing Group, LLC today reported third-quarter operating income of $17.5 million, down $2.9 million, or 14.2%, from $20.4 million for the same period in 2006. Net income for the quarter was $5.0 million, down $1.9 million from $6.9 million last year.

Total operating revenue for the third quarter was $109.5 million, down $7.9 million, or 6.7%, from the same quarter 2006, with total advertising revenue of $88.5 million, down $7.9 million, or 8.2%, circulation revenue of $17.1 million, down $0.2 million, or 1.0%, and other income of $3.9 million, up $0.2 million, or 4.3%, from last year. Retail, national and classified advertising revenue were down 3.9%, 17.1% and 11.8%, respectively.

For the third quarter, total operating expense was $92.1 million, down $5.0 million, or 5.2%. Total labor and employee benefit costs were $43.6 million, down $0.3 million, or 0.6%, newsprint, ink and supplements costs were $10.9 million, down $3.9 million, or 26.3%, and other operating costs, excluding depreciation and amortization, were $33.4 million, up $0.5 million, or 1.4%. Depreciation and amortization expense was $4.2 million, down $1.3 million, or 23.8%.

Commenting on the results, William S. Morris IV, Morris Publishing Group's chief executive officer and president, said, "Our Florida markets continue to be the entire source of our net decline in revenue, with the ongoing real estate slump having adversely affected advertising from builders, employers and retailers dependent on the housing industry.

Excluding the operating costs directly associated with our ten new nondaily publications, our total operating costs excluding newsprint, ink and supplements were down $1.9 million, or 2.3%. This cost savings is a direct result of our aggressive strategy to further align our operating expenses with the existing revenue environment."

For the first nine months of 2007, operating income was $45.9 million, down $17.1 million, or 27.1%, from $63.0 million last year. Total net operating revenue was $330.2 million, down $21.5 million, or 6.1%, and total operating costs were $284.3 million, down 4.4 million, or 1.5%, from last year. Net income for the first nine months of 2007 was $10.7 million, down $11.3 million from $22.0 million last year.

About Morris Publishing
Morris Publishing Group, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Morris Communications Company, LLC, a privately held media company based in Augusta, Ga. Morris Publishing currently owns and operates 27 daily newspapers as well as nondaily newspapers, city magazines, and other free community publications in the Southeast, Midwest, Southwest and Alaska. For more information, visit our website, morris.com.

Contact:
Morris Marketing