American Journalism Review on New UPI President/CEO

Here's a piece from the American Journalism Review (Week of Aug. 31 through Sept. 6, 1999) on Arnaud de Borchgrave, new UPI president and chief executive officer:

Luckily for Arnaud de Borchgrave, the man only needs four hours of sleep a night.

He'll need all those waking hours to direct perpetually troubled United Press International as its new president and CEO; retain his senior adviser position at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a D.C. think tank; and continue to consult for the paper he edited for six years, the Washington Times.

De Borchgrave first worked at UP, as it was called in 1946, as a telex operator and later replaced Walter Cronkite as its Brussels bureau chief. He says he thought since he had started there, he'd take on "the challenge of turning this agency around and making it relevant for the next century.''

The 72-year-old workaholic does have a job on his hands: UPI has lost $120 million since 1992.

De Borchgrave, who spent 30 years at Newsweek, 17 of them as chief foreign correspondent, aims to take UPI "out of the AP, Reuters, Bloomberg arena'' and cover stories being ignored by the rest of the news media, he says.

"An unbelievable amount of stories are not being reported,'' he adds. The media are "fixated on trivia these days, to the detriment of substance.''