Lee said it lost $6 million, or 12 cents per share, in the January-March period. That compares with a loss of $26.6 million, or 54 cents per share, in the same period a year ago. The year-ago quarter included $38.6 million in financing and reorganization expenses.
Excluding one-time items, Lee lost $2.5 million, or 5 cents per share, compared with an adjusted loss of $1.3 million, or 3 cents per share, a year ago.
Revenue fell 2 percent to $160.6 million from $164.6 million. It was the company's best revenue performance in two years.
Advertising revenue fell 5 percent to $106.5 million from $112.4 million. Circulation revenue grew 3 percent to $44 million from $42.5 million.
Operating expenses fell 3 percent to $128.7 million from $132.4 million.
Shares of the Davenport, Iowa-based company rose 7 cents, or 5.2 percent, to $1.35 in midday trading. The stock is up 16.7 percent so far in 2013.