Austin Bureau Report From 1972

This is a March 3, 1972, Austin, Texas, bureau report written by bureau manager Roland Lindsey to Donald Reed of Dallas (the Garth Jones referred to in the letter is the former longtime rox bureau chief in Austin; he was still around when I took over the UPI bureau in 1982):

Don Reed
United Press International
1606 Patterson St.
Dallas, Tex.

AUSTIN BUREAU REPORT for period Feb. 18-March 2, 1972:

This was the time of the great train trip, and I think we showed our best colors on this one even if the logs didn't reflect it. CH staffed the Barnes campaign train from Amarillo to Houston, and came up with good color details, quotes, and bright writing. His note will explain how the other side covered it (but still got a good share of the play): CH says:

"Some of the faithful Garth Jones freaks around this state, who would use a story with his byline if it began: Preston Smith are (censored) today, would probably be interested in knowing how he covers a good story like the barnes train.

"He takes the releases when they are available, marks the paragraphs, writes a couple of pgh lead on the top and heads for the nearest phone.

"I sincerely doubt the AP members would be so willing to fork over election coverage assessments if they knew they were getting nothing but pghs out of a flak man's release."

Other political news for the last two weeks has been routine, except for Preston's television speech which I'll get to a little later. For 2/23, I sent up an hfr on a likely rate cut for auto insurance buyers in texas, with good quotes from both the insurance board chairman and a state farm spokesman. this was an exclusive, but it got lost in the onite shuffle and wasn't relayed in the Thursday pm report as planned. But WPO dug it out after a fone call, put in on for Friday pms, and it made the Hs Chron and a number of other papers. On Wed, 2/22, we moved an interview for sun ams on the critical oil sitn in texas. By Sunday, Rox had the same story. Now I woudn't want to accuse them of stealing off our wires, but it's damn odd that they had the same idea I did for the same story to run on the same date.

the filing fee story has been around all month, and we've won some and lost some on it. Our political roundups have been getting generally good play, while rox is still handling political stories on an individual basis.

On 2/24, we staff the Parks and Wildlife fued over Mustang Island when they voted, then backed off, on buying the land. Rox didn't have a man there at all, and we got the best of it even though they recovered with the aid of a P&W flak. They got a jump ahead of us the same day on coverage of an insurance hearing--but again it was the same story. They stayed all day--we got up and left after getting what I considered a pretty good lead and some other quotes and background.

CH followed up a handout 3/1 and came up with an exclusive from Demo chrmn Roy Orr saying controversial rules will not be discussed at a 3/13 meeting in DA. Rox used the handout only. On Smith's statewide television, Rox and us offered the clients different angles and I can't tell you who had the best of it. We led on Smith's Sharpstown explanation, which took up 22 minutes of the program. Rox led on smith saying he isn't going to call a special session. But they omitted a quote in which he added one is apparently going to be necessary in the very near future.

DA followed up very nicely on ours, picking up immediate reaction from Barnes, who was appearing on a DA station at almost the same time. Our rdup with both sides in it was well played, and, in my opinion, handled well on both ends.

US and DA again collaborated for a good exclusive 3/2 on the COPE labor convention in Galveston. I picked up a report that backers of Farenthold were raising hell over the AFL-CIO rcommendation to stay out of the gov's race. Put CH on it, and he got some quotes from the Farenthold folks, and MR helped out with some info that the steelworkers were backing Farenthold in the gov's race, etc., and it came out a goodie.

Off hand, I can't think of anything we were badly hurt on by Rox the past cuple of weeks. When Annie gets back on the job Monday, we'll be back a full strength for the first time in three months, and I think you'll notice some difference.

If you pick up any comments--good or bad--on the austin report, pls pass them along. We'd like to hear a little more of what the clients think of what we're doing, and how they think we could improve it.

Regards, Roland Lindsey UPI/Austin


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