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Gannett Honors Top Employees, Including Innovator of the Year, and Unsung Heroes

MCLEAN, VA – Kevin Poortinga, vice president of product development at The Indianapolis Star, was named Gannett’s first Innovator of the Year during the company’s annual Employee Awards ceremony here today (Video).

Sam Rosenwasser was named Gannett’s 23rd Manager of the Year. Rosenwasser is president and general manager of WTSP-TV at Tampa-St. Petersburg, FL (Video).

Also presented this year was a Chairman’s Special Achievement Award to Jennifer Carroll, vice president/new media content, Newspaper Division, and Michael Maness, vice president/strategic planning, Newspaper Division, for their work in designing and implementing the company’s new Information Center initiative (Video).

“From Innovator of the Year to Unsung Hero, we celebrate the vision, creativity and skills of these employees. As this company continues to rapidly transform itself within our changing industry, their energy, commitment and dedication inspire us to move faster, move smarter and to get the job done,” said Gannett Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Craig Dubow.

The Innovator of the Year award recognizes a Gannett employee who was responsible for sponsoring or leading major innovation initiatives at his/her local unit. Other finalists for Innovator of the Year were: Nicole Carroll, managing editor, The Arizona Republic at Phoenix; and Steve Silberman, executive editor, The Desert Sun at Palm Springs, CA.

Gannett’s Manager of the Year award honors top leaders at the company for their management skills, creativity and results. Other finalists for Manager of the Year were: Arnold Garson, vice president/Pacific Newspaper Group, and president and publisher, Argus Leader at Sioux Falls, SD.; Ted Power, vice president/Sun Coast Newspaper Group, and president and publisher, The Daily Advertiser at Lafayette, LA, and the Daily World at Opelousas, LA; and Tim Whitehouse, managing director, Newsquest Specialist Media.
Other awards announced at the reception:

    Sales Executive of the Year is Bobby Root, account executive, The Des Moines Register. Finalists were: Michelle Flood, account executive, USA TODAY; Bill Huney, account executive, USA TODAY, Detroit; and Julie Mecklenburg, account executive, WGRZ-TV at Buffalo, NY (Video);
    Corporate Staffers of the Year are Lane Michaelsen, vice president/news executive, Gannett Broadcasting, and Harvey Mars, vice president, Gannett Broadcasting. Other finalists were Peter Lundquist, vice president/online content and product development, Gannett Digital; and Carrie Miller, senior vice president and chief financial officer, Gannett Broadcasting (Video);
    Leadership and Diversity Award went to the Reno (NV) Gazette-Journal. Finalists were: The Desert Sun at Palm Springs, Calif.; WMAZ-TV at Macon, GA; Pacific Daily News at Hagatna, Guam; WFMY-TV at Greensboro, NC; and The Cincinnati Enquirer.(Video).

Also honored at the reception were winners of the Gannett 20th annual Unsung Heroes Awards. They are:

    Ronald Cobbs, prepress operations manager, USA TODAY, McLean, VA (Video);
    George Colley, facilities engineer, The Greenville (SC) News (Video);
    Darcy Gurganous, supervisor, Corporate Services, McLean, VA (Video);
    Adeline Hageman, human resources manager, Reno (NV) Gazette-Journal (Video);
    Phil Humes, News Operations manager, WXIA/WATL-TV at Atlanta, GA (Video);
    Nigel Waters, maintenance manager, Newsquest Oxford (Video);
    Alexis Ziobro, home delivery manager, The News Journal, Wilmington, DE (Video).

Gannett Co., Inc. is a leading international news and information company that publishes 90 daily newspapers in the USA, including USA TODAY, the nation’s largest-selling daily newspaper. The company also owns nearly 1,000 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 nearly 300 titles, including 18 daily newspapers, and a network of prize-winning Web sites. Gannett also operates 23 television stations in the United States and is an Internet leader with sites sponsored by its TV stations and newspapers including, one of the most popular news sites on the Web.

Media inquiries:
Tara Connell
Vice President of Corporate Communications
(703) 854-6049