Published: Oct 14, 2010 4:09 PM EDT
Updated: Oct 14, 2010 1:09 PM EDT

FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Fort Myers Regional Partnership, Lee County’s Economic Development Office, announced today that the county has approved financial incentives for Gannett Co., Inc. to expand operations in Lee County. Gannett plans to create a centralized online advertising operations department. This will create 35 full-time jobs with salaries in excess of 109% of the Lee County average wage. The economic impact in the county for this project is expected to be over $2.1 million over the next 2 years. As part of the project, Gannett will receive an incentive of up to $105,000 from the Lee County Job Opportunity Program.

“We are excited about the jobs that Gannett will be creating in Lee County,” stated Jim Moore, executive director of the Fort Myers Regional Partnership, Lee County’s Economic Development Office. “They will contribute to the economic health and business diversification of Lee County and provide high-wage jobs to qualified candidates in our community.”

Mei Mei Chan, publisher of The News-Press, said, “Gannett weighed a variety of factors in choosing the site for this business unit, including cost of living, cost of labor, ease of doing business, strong infrastructure, ready transportation and access to a talent pool. We look forward to creating valuable jobs for the residents of Lee County as we continue to improve our products and services.”

Gannett is investing in digital development, in content and in advertising solutions. It is centralizing the advertising fulfillment efforts for most of its local media properties to streamline processes, ensure high quality and adapt quickly to changing market needs. This business unit will be the operational fulfillment of digital advertising campaigns for Gannett local media properties nationwide.

Jeff Book, a long time Florida resident and FGCU graduate, is returning to the Fort Myers area to lead this group. “I am excited for both personal and professional reasons to be returning to Southwest Florida, and to bring high tech, digital jobs of the future to Fort Myers,” said Jeff Book, director of Local Digital Ad Operations.

“The News-Press, one of Gannett’s 82 newspapers, is the largest manufacturer in Lee County and has been a wonderful partner with the City of Fort Myers as one of our Enterprise Zone businesses. The city is proud to have been chosen as the location for Gannett’s expansion and looks forward to the jobs that will be created as a result,” said Mayor Randy Henderson.