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Gannett Comfortable with First Call Estimates

Wednesday, March 20, 2002

Gannett Comfortable with First Call Estimates

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Gannett Chairman, President and CEO Douglas H. McCorkindale said today the company is comfortable with most First Call estimates of 90 cents per diluted share for the first quarter, assuming current trends continue.

Achieving this result would be almost a 5 percent increase year-over-year using the new accounting rules for goodwill amortization in both years, McCorkindale said.

McCorkindale and other Gannett executives were reporting on the company’s performance to date in 2002 and the outlook for the remainder of the first quarter at a presentation today to the Media and Entertainment Analysts of New York.

Gary Watson, president of the Newspaper Division, said: “The numbers in recent weeks would seem to indicate that, at least from a cyclical perspective, the worst may be behind us.” February classified results at Gannett’s community newspapers may serve to show “we’ve bottomed out and are heading back toward positive territory,” perhaps around the middle of the year.

Tom Curley, president and publisher of USA TODAY, noted that “the climate for national advertising has improved,” but said making predictions about the near term still is problematic. Other ventures with the USA TODAY brand continue to grow, including Audience at the Internet site is up about a third and advertising there is beginning to turn, Curley said.

Craig Dubow, president and CEO of Gannett Broadcasting said “We have had a good first quarter.” Dubow projected 2002 first quarter revenues to be up in the high single digits over the first quarter of 2001 due to higher automotive ad spending, Winter Olympics-related ad spending on the company’s 13 NBC stations and political spending.

Dubow noted that Gannett’s KARE-TV in Minneapolis, KSDK-TV in St. Louis and KUSA-TV in Denver were the top three stations in the country for late news in the key selling demographic of 25-54 year olds in November 2001. They are joined in the top ten by KPNX-TV in Phoenix. While complete results for the February 2002 ratings period are not yet available, Dubow said he anticipates a strong demographic performance again for all our stations.

The Webcast of the presentation will be available under “On the Street” at through March 27, 2001.

Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI) is an international news and information company that publishes 95 daily newspapers in the USA, including USA TODAY, the nation’s largest-selling daily newspaper. The company also owns in excess of 300 non-daily publications in the USA and USA WEEKEND, a weekly newspaper magazine. In the United Kingdom, Gannett subsidiary Newsquest plc publishes more than 300 titles, including 15 daily newspapers. Gannett also operates 22 television stations in the United States.

Certain statements in this press release may be forward looking in nature or “forward looking statements” as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The forward looking statements contained in this press release are subject to a number of risks, trends and uncertainties that could cause actual performance to differ materially from these forward looking statements. A number of those risks, trends and uncertainties are discussed in the company’s SEC reports, including the company’s annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. Any forward looking statements in this press release should be evaluated in light of these important risk factors.