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Newsquest Names New Chief Executive

NEWSPAPER HOUSE, MORDEN, SURREY – Paul Davidson has been appointed chief executive of Newsquest plc, the company announced today.

Davidson, who was group managing director, will take over from Executive Chairman Jim Brown when he retires at the end of July. Brown will continue as non-executive chairman.

Also, Paul Hunter will be appointed Newsquest’s finance director to replace John Pfeil who will be leaving Newsquest. Hunter has been Newsquest’s group finance controller since 1997.

“Paul Davidson and Paul Hunter have been through many tests with John Pfeil and myself and have shown their very considerable strengths,” said Brown. “Our parent company Gannett can have every confidence the two will take Newsquest further forward.”

Brown joined the Reed newspaper company in 1986, eventually leading a management buyout of the firm and changing its name to Newsquest Media Group. Brown began his career as a journalist with the Ayrshire Post in Scotland.

Davidson, 47, who has a background in marketing and sales, also was with Reed when it became Newsquest. He was previously with Thomson’s in Aberdeen and has been deputy to Jim Brown since 1995. Hunter, 37, previously was with Deloitte & Touche before joining Newsquest. He had an important part in Newsquest’s acquisition of Newscom.

Other changes at the regional newspaper publisher include the appointments to Newsquest’s board of Tim Blott, regional managing director of Lancashire and Bradford, and Roger Mills, regional managing director, London. Both Blott and Mills are former editors who have successfully switched into senior management roles.

Newsquest has more than 300 titles going into more than 10 million homes in the United Kingdom. Newsquest joined Gannett in mid-1999.

Gannett Co., Inc. is an international news and information company that publishes 99 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. Gannett also operates 22 television stations in the United States and is an Internet leader with sites sponsored by most of its TV stations and newspapers including, one of the most popular news sites on the web.