Gannett Posts Q4 Profit, Names New COO

It’s been a big day for Gannett Co. Inc. (GCI). In addition to revealing its fourth quarter and full year earnings report today, the USA TODAY publisher announced the promotion of executive vice president and CFO Gracia Martore to president and COO.

Martore couldn’t choose a better moment to come in. The company reported a $133.6 million profit for the fourth quarter of 2009, despite a 14.4 percent decline in revenues. The company attributed its profit to reduced expenses, and Gannett cut its debt by about $250 million during the quarter.

And although advertising revenues continue to lag behind previous years, Gannett said the fourth quarter was stronger than previous quarters of 2009 — a good sign. Ad revenues in the U.S. declined 18 percent during the quarter compared to 2008.

As CFO of Gannett, Martore is uniquely familiar with the economic challenges facing the company. She will remain CFO as she takes on her COO duties until a new CFO is brought on, CEO Craig Dubow said in an announcement today. Martore started at Gannett in 1985 as assistant treasurer and worked her way up as VP of Treasury Services, head of Investor Relations, senior VP and was named CFO in 2003.

Full release after the jump

Previously: New York Times Co., Gannett Get Holiday Love From Wall Street

Gracia Martore named Gannett’s President and Chief Operating Officer

McLEAN, VA — Gracia C. Martore has been named president and chief operating officer of Gannett Co, Inc. (NYSE: GCI), Craig A. Dubow, chairman and chief executive officer, announced today.

Martore, who was most recently Gannett’s executive vice president and chief financial officer, will continue to serve as CFO until a new CFO is appointed. She will continue to report to Dubow.

“Gracia is an outstanding leader and business executive,” Dubow said. “She has made enormous contributions to Gannett during her many years here and most recently as our CFO and executive vice president. She has tremendous financial skills and extensive knowledge of our business operations. She’s earned this opportunity and I couldn’t be more pleased that she will serve as our president and COO.”

“Craig has brought new vision and direction to our company. As the economy continues to move ahead, we look forward to furthering the many changes under way and setting the course for what our company will look like in the years to come. This move will allow Craig to concentrate on Gannett’s long-term strategic planning while Gracia manages the day-to-day operations of the business. Craig and Gracia have been exceptional leaders for Gannett and work in tandem as an outstanding team,” said Karen Hastie Williams, Gannett’s presiding director.

Martore joined Gannett in 1985 as assistant treasurer. She was named vice president/Treasury services in 1993. She was given responsibility for Investor Relations in 1996, became treasurer and vice president/Investor Relations in 1998 and was named a senior vice president in 2001. She became chief financial officer in 2003 and was named executive vice president in 2006.

Martore is a native of Boston and graduate of Wellesley College where she was a Wellesley Scholar. Prior to Gannett, she worked for 12 years in the banking industry.

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