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Virtual Campus Wins Gannett IDEAS Contest

McLEAN, VA – The Virtual Campus, a comprehensive on-line training portal and database created and operated by Gannett’s Information Technology department, is the winner of the company’s 2002 IDEAS (Innovator Drive for Excellence) competition.

Content for The Virtual Campus includes on-line training, downloadable recorded files of previous classes, software and documentation libraries, discussion databases and more. The material is available to Gannett employees through the corporate Intranet 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Designed by the Professional Development/Technology team of Gannett IT, the campus was launched in July 2001 to provide content to newspapers as they came onto the Wide Area Network (WAN). Since the launch, more than 2,500 Gannett employees have been trained, and hundreds more visit the site each month seeking documents, videos or other content.

Also available are seminars by experts, Web conferencing services and a library in which IT, finance, advertising, circulation and marketing staffs can exchange information.

The campus provides the training and information at huge cost savings to the company.

The Virtual Campus was one of more than 170 entries in the 2002 IDEAS contest for projects initiated in 2001. In addition to the top prize, the IDEAS judges named four other winners:

    The X Manual, a compilation by the Newspaper Division of ideas for reaching young adult readers.
    In nine chapters and 300 pages, The X Manual brings together best practices, references and ideas from Gannett newspapers around the country. Among the subjects addressed are local news, business, features, sports, classifieds and promotion.
    WBIR-TV “Freedom Engine” fundraising drive.
    In wake of September 11th, WBIR-TV launched a community fundraiser to donate a fire truck to New York City. By organizing special events and a public service campaign, the station exceeded expectations and collected $959,000. A fully equipped, 95-foot fire truck was purchased for Ladder Company 14 in Harlem, which lost 3 firefighters that day.
    KSDK-TV’s Dining Out St. Louis.
    Every restaurant in St. Louis is listed in this user-friendly on-line guide, which has city residents flocking to Listings of which restaurants deliver and are family friendly are provided while a search function finds food preferences, such as vegetarian. Preferred restaurants get their menu and a review posted and on-air promotions for a small monthly fee.
    Red Cross Sept. 11 effort.
    USA TODAY, USA WEEKEND and the Newspaper and Broadcast divisions joined together to provide the American Red Cross with immediate media access through donated advertising space post Sept. 11. More than 300 pages of ads and in excess of 1500 commercials helped the organization spread its message in communities across the USA.

“Cutting edge technology combined with creative thinking and good citizenship are among Gannett’s best qualities,” said Douglas H. McCorkindale, chairman, president and CEO of Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI). “The IDEA winners, and virtually all the entries this year, exemplify this spirit and are the reasons this company is prospering.”

Judges for the competition were McCorkindale; Dick Clapp, senior vice president, human resources; Craig Dubow, president and CEO of Gannett Broadcasting; and Gary Watson, president of Gannett’s Newspaper Division.

Gannett Co., Inc. 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 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.