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Gannett Announces Winners of the ‘Unsung Heroes’ Awards

McLEAN, VA – Winners of Gannett’s 23rd annual “Unsung Heroes” awards were announced today by Craig A. Dubow, chairman and chief executive officer of Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI). Gannett’s “Unsung Heroes” awards honor those employees who give the company outstanding service every day. They are:

* Will Alexander, Chief Solutions Architect, GMTI. “Will’s technical expertise, collaborative style, and highly innovative approach to solving problems have led to significant improvements in website performance and advertising delivery,” said one nominator. He has played an important role in enhancing the MomsLikeMe product, developing standard ad templates for online display banners, improving page performance load times by seconds and driving numerous site performance improvements. Will tackles very complex technical issues and delivers a solution when one may not seem to exist. He has earned a reputation as a true problem solver and innovator who will get the job done while adding tremendous value to Gannett every day.

* Sara Davis, Manager/Education Products and Programs, USA TODAY Education, McLean, VA. For the past three years, Sara has made enormous contributions to the success of USA TODAY Education. She led the development of a new product line and business model and actively demonstrates the value USA TODAY Education’s products bring to classrooms and college campuses. She has developed style guides and standards and reviews all developed materials to ensure the quality Gannett and USA TODAY are known for. One nominator said, “Sara continues to find ways to leverage her team members’ strength for greater productivity and job satisfaction and leverage her own strengths to increase sales and to brainstorm and pursue new revenue streams.”

* Laura Dalton, Senior Manager/Publications, Corporate Communications, Gannett. She doesn’t get a by-line so few people know that it is through Laura’s finely crafted copy that people inside and outside of Gannett learn about the many things happening throughout the company. Laura is an excellent leader. She and her small team of graphic designers produce a wide range of communications pieces including the Gannett Annual Report, updates and features to the company Intranet and corporate web sites, Human Resources brochures and more. In the last six months, she has helped create many new and creative communications channels through which employees stay informed. Said one nominator: “The words ‘no’ or ‘can’t be done’ simply don’t exist in her vocabulary and her positive attitude and belief in our company and our people have benefited all of us who learn about our successes and priorities through the work she and her team accomplish.”

* Denise Goolsby, Reporter, The Desert Sun, Palm Springs, CA. Denise has tapped into Coachella Valley’s great passion for history by helping to lead a 13-month project called “Honoring Our World War II Heroes.” She has interviewed more than 400 veterans who have talked about their World War II experiences, and local companies have lined up to be sponsors. “Her passion for this ambitious project … has resonated deeply in our corner of California,” said one nominator. She’s played a key role in the production of the web site and participated in a related video produced by the Information Center, “I never told my story about my terrifying chapter in World War II before I saw The Desert Sun’s profiles,” said one participant. “I had not shared those experiences with anyone but my wife, who is now deceased. … Now I feel like history will never forget me or my buddies.”

* Brian Hall, Multimedia Photojournalist Video Specialist/Sports Producer, WFMY-TV, Greensboro, NC. As one nominator said, “Brian is the definition of a multi-media journalist.” He produces on-air sports content for the station’s evening newscasts; sports specials such as the popular weekly high school football show called “Friday Night Fever”; and updates local sports stories on the station’s web site, He also helps out other departments on an as-needed basis, whether it’s covering a major snow fall or volunteering to be the pool camera operator for the opening of the Civil Right Museum. He responds to requests with urgency and proactively solves problems. Said another nominator, “He’s one of those employees of which news directors say, ‘If I just had three or four of him, we would be unstoppable.’ ”

* Sophie Holmes, Services Coordinator, Newsquest Digital Media. Sophie coordinates Newsquest’s group telephone and mobile services, helping them set up and run a range of mobile and fixed line telephone services along with a network of 150 mobile web sites. Her job includes the administration and training of more than 300 staff in 38 Newsquest publishing centers. Sophie has also been the “voice” of telephone services, having recorded over 1,000 audio announcements for use by the group’s newspapers and web sites.

“All of these Unsung Heroes are star performers and proactively contribute to our success in many ways,” says Craig Dubow, chairman and chief executive officer. “We are deeply appreciative of their resourcefulness, positive spirit, hard work and dedication.”
The winners were selected from approximately 130 nominations this year. Each winner will receive $1,000 and be honored at a reception on Wednesday, April 7 at corporate headquarters in McLean, VA.

Judges for the Unsung Heroes awards were Dubow; Gracia Martore, president, chief operating officer and chief financial officer; Robert Dickey, president, U.S. Community Publishing; Dave Hunke, president and publisher, USA TODAY; Dave Lougee, president, Gannett Broadcasting; Chris Saridakis, senior vice president and chief digital officer; Jack Williams, president, Gannett Digital Ventures; Roxanne Horning, senior vice president of Human Resources; Michael Maness, vice president, innovation and design; Todd Mayman, senior vice president, general counsel and secretary; and Wendell Van Lare, senior vice president of Labor Relations.

Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI) is an international news and information company operating on multiple platforms including the Internet, mobile, newspapers, magazines and TV stations. Gannett is an Internet leader with hundreds of newspaper and TV Web sites;, the nation’s top employment site;; and more than 80 local sites. Gannett publishes 83 daily U.S. newspapers, including USA TODAY, the nation’s largest-selling daily newspaper, and more than 650 magazines and other non-dailies including USA WEEKEND. Gannett also operates 23 television stations in 19 U.S. markets. Gannett subsidiary Newsquest is the United Kingdom’s second largest regional newspaper company with 17 daily paid-for titles, more than 200 weekly newspapers, magazines and trade publications, and a network of Web sites.

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