Gannett Announces Winners of the ‘Unsung Heroes’ Award
McLEAN, VA – Winners of Gannett’s 18th annual “Unsung Heroes” award were announced today by Tara Connell, vice president of Corporate Communications for Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI). They are:
* Martin Calhoun, technology and implementation manager, The Times in Shreveport, LA. Martin is the indispensable, go-to guy at Gannett’s Louisiana newspapers. “If a project needs a champion, a staffer is faced with an impossible task, the paper needs a niche publication up and running fast, Gannett Louisiana newspapers call Martin,” his nominator said. His work on a list of projects – including the launch of a niche publication in 45 days; the conversion to a new content management system; the creation of a Web site for virtual meetings – was on time, under budget and with few problems.
* Connie English, newsroom assistant, KUSA-TV, Denver, CO. Connie’s job at KUSA is to take the station’s calls from the public and forward good story ideas to the newsroom. But it’s the calls that are not news stories that have won her a spot in Denver’s heart. Connie believes in returning every call – no matter how angry, upset or unusual – with respect, concern and thoroughness. She has helped fix lives, straighten out bills and even build a library. Connie began at KUSA as a volunteer in 1980. She turned 83 this year.
* Dorea Hicks, executive assistant, WUSA-TV, Washington, DC. Is there anything Dorea doesn’t do? She assists the station’s general manager, reviews thousands of requests for satellite waivers, helps new employees get settled, speaks to angry viewers, makes all the arrangements for important events, even does all the proofreading. Dorea has been at Channel 9 for 38 years and is the heart of the station. Said her nominator: “It might be easier to list the things she doesn’t do.”
* Joe Miller, lead analyst, Gannett Information Technology, McLean, VA. If you hate spam, Joe is your guy. Joe led the project that designed, built, configured and installed the anti-spam solution for Gannett and USA TODAY. In the last year, the amount of spam coming into Gannett grew to 90% of the more than 1.2 million e-mails for Gannett employees every day. But Joe’s solution filters most of the spam, and most of the viruses, before employees ever see it. He is available day and night, holidays and weekends and always ready to help out. “His work activities are being performed in the background … however the impact is essential,” his nominator said.
* Travis Motley, building services supervisor, Pensacola (FL) News Journal. Travis has always been dedicated, “consistently placing the needs of the News Journal ahead of his own,” his nominator said. He comes in at off-hours to minimize the impact of his construction and repair projects on the rest of the staff. But his work during the hurricane that slammed into Pensacola on Sept. 16, was selflessly impressive. Water breached the sandbags, and he worked non-stop to minimize the damage. His decisions in the face of the storm helped prevent serious destruction to the facility.
* Olwen Vassey, senior reporter, Telegraph & Argus, Bradford, United Kingdom. In her more than 40 years in journalism, Olwen has never let a story get away. She has covered thousands of meetings, always waiting for that extra quote. She’s worked evenings, weekends and even from the beach, if there was a chance to get on page one. Despite personal hardship, including having to go part-time to take care of her mother, Olwen has refused to slow down. But she’s also a team player, helping less experienced staffers and volunteering to gather information for other reporters. Said her nominator: “Olwen’s outstanding contribution and professionalism make her a superb role model.”
“Gannett’s Unsung Heroes are always the most amazing group of people. All are dedicated to the company, take great pride in their work and are selfless with their time and concern. And all are beloved by their coworkers. Gannett couldn’t get along without them,” said Douglas H. McCorkindale, chairman, president and CEO of Gannett.
The winners were selected from more than 50 nominations this year. Each winner will receive $1,000 and be honored at a reception Jan. 20 at corporate headquarters in McLean, VA.
Judges for the Unsung Heroes awards were McCorkindale; Thomas L. Chapple, senior vice president, chief administrative officer and general counsel; Gracia Martore, senior vice president and chief financial officer; Craig Dubow, president and CEO of Gannett Broadcasting; Craig Moon, president and publisher of USA TODAY; Paul Davidson, chairman and chief executive officer of Newsquest plc; and Gary Watson, president the Newspaper Division.
Gannett Co., Inc. is a leading international news and information company that publishes 101 daily newspapers in the USA, including USA TODAY, the nation’s largest-selling daily newspaper. The company also owns more than 600 non-daily publications in the USA and USA WEEKEND, a weekly newspaper magazine. Gannett subsidiary Newsquest is the United Kingdom’s second largest regional newspaper company. Newsquest publishes more than 300 titles, including 17 daily newspapers, and a network of prize-winning Web sites. Gannett also operates 21 television stations in the United States and is an Internet leader with sites sponsored by its TV stations and newspapers including USATODAY.com, one of the most popular news sites on the Web.
For more information, contact:
Vice President/Corporate Communications