February 11, 2007

Gannett just announced a new program that could be a
pretty sweet deal for students. Mainly because it ends with a job offer.

Starting this year, the company will recruit 30 graduating
seniors to participate in a new talent development program.

In June, those selected will begin a 10-week training
program at Gannett newspapers and broadcast stations across the country.
Once the graduate finishes the program successfully, he or she is guaranteed a
position in the company.

“We want the best people we can possibly get,” Tara Connell, vice president of corporate communications, said in a phone interview. “[The program] is one of the tools we have to
get an innovative, creative, smart, talented pool for Gannett.”

Students will learn how to deliver news in the company’s new
24/7, multi-platform environment — called “Information Centers.

Gannett is also recruiting advertising students for the
program. They’ll learn how to use audience-based selling techniques across news

That means students will learn to go to advertisers and say,
for example, “You want to reach 19- to 25-year-olds? We can tell you what
publications they’re reading on what platform at what time.”

“It’s a whole different way of approaching ad sales, much
more attuned to what the customer wants,” Connell said.

Gannett hasn’t cut any of its existing internship
programs as a result of the new training. But Connell said there’s a good chance
some of its papers and stations might switch their resources to this program.

“It’s too early to tell if we’re spending more or less,”
Connell said. “We’re using resources we have already.”

So for those of you who graduated this winter, or are graduating
this spring, check out more details here. The scramble to find a job can be
scary. Look at this as one more opportunity.

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Leann is a former copy editor at The Dallas Morning News who now works as a writing consultant at Collin College in Plano, Texas. She…
Leann Frola Wendell

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