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Washington, DC. -- Gannett Broadcasting President Dave Lougee was awarded the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) First Amendment Leadership Award Wednesday night.

Lougee was presented with the award at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. The award is given annually to a leader who has made significant contributions to the protection of the First Amendment and freedom of the press.

Lougee has been President of Gannett Broadcasting since 2007. He started his broadcast career in Denver in 1981, ultimately serving as vice president/news director at Gannett's KUSA-TV in Denver from 1990-1996. He worked as vice president of news at WRC-TV in Washington, DC, for two years and news director at KING-TV in Seattle before being named president and general manager of Belo's TV and cable operations in Seattle/Tacoma in 2000. He was later promoted to executive vice president for media operations and in 2005, he was named a senior vice president of Belo.

Lougee serves on several industry boards. He is currently Vice Chair of the NBC Affiliates Board, and a member of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Board of Directors. He is also a member of the BMI (Broadcast Music Inc.) Board of Directors and immediate past Chair of the Television Bureau of Advertising (TVB) Board of Directors.

Among past First Amendment Leadership Award winners: USA TODAY founder Al Neuharth, ABC's Roone Arledge, CNN Founder Ted Turner, CBS "60 Minutes" creator Don Hewitt, Washington Post Publisher Katharine Graham and Fox News' Roger Ailes.

News 19, WLTX in Columbia is Gannett property, operated under Lougee and Gannett Broadcasting.

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