Milton R. Benjamin Named New President of UPI

This story was filed by UPI on Nov. 6, 1986:

WASHINGTON (UPI) - Milton R. Benjamin, 44, president of a management consulting firm that has been advising United Press International, Thursday was named president and chief operating officer of UPI, succeeding Maxwell McCrohon, who resigned.

Mario Vazquez-Rana, chairman and chief executive officer of UPI, said he had retained Benjamin's firm in the spring before he took ownership of the news agency to develop plans for turning it into the preeminent news and information resource of the 21st century.

"I am convinced that the strategies he has developed will make UPI absolutely essential to our newspaper and broadcast clients, and will enable us to become a viable and profitable company," Vazquez said.

"In recent days, Max and I agreed that new leadership was needed to implement these strategies," he said. "I asked Milton if he would take on the challenge, and I am pleased that he has agreed."

Benjamin, who was a national affairs reporter, foreign editor and assistant to the chairman during 14 years with The Washington Post and Newsweek, said his top priority would be to make UPI "more relevant to the changed needs of its clients.

"Partly as a factor of its economic difficulties, UPI has improved less over the past decade than the media as a whole," said Benjamin. "Now, UPI has an owner with the resources and commitment to make it a worldwide news and information gathering service unrivaled in comprehensiveness and quality."

In a statement following the announcement, Thomas Winship, retired editor of the Boston Globe and chairman of the UPI Editorial Review Committee, termed Benjamin "an intelligent, compassionate person. He knows the news business. He knows UPI and cares deeply about its future.

"From the viewpoint of editorial integrity, I feel confident he will give his best shot to steering UPI on a steady course," Winship said.

Benjamin, who left The Washington Post in 1984 to start a consulting practice, takes on his new UPI responsibilities effective immediately. He will remain a director of Anderson, Benjamin, Read and Haney, Inc., which has offices in Washington, D.C., and Milwaukee, Wis.

For Benjamin, who began his news career in 1963 with the Springfield (Mass.) Union, today's announcement marked a return to the organization where he spent four years in the 1960s as a reporter and editor in UPI's Boston and Washington bureaus.

Helen Thomas, UPI's White House Bureau chief and one of several current reporters who worked with Benjamin during his first agency tenure, appeared Thursday morning at a brief meeting held to introduce Benjamin to UPI's executives.

On behalf of UPI news staffers, Thomas said, "We welcome Milt back to the UPI fold. We're sure he will help us carry on the great tradition of independent and competitive journalism for which UPI is so well known."

Benjamin left UPI in 1968 to become Washington bureau chief for the Boston Herald Traveler Corp. From 1969 to 1972, he was a roving foreign correspondent for the Voice of America.

Benjamin joined The Washington Post Company in 1972, serving as a foreign editor of Newsweek magazine and as a national affairs reporter, deputy metropolitan and foreign editor of The Washington Post, and assistant to the chairman of the board, Katharine Graham.

In 1981 and 1982, he was chairman of the Telecommunications Public Policy Group of the American Newspaper Publishers Association.

He left The Washington Post in 1984 and later that year formed his own firm, which provides a variety of consulting services to companies primarily in the information and communications business.

A graduate of Fordham University (BA, English), Benjamin was a Ford Foundation Fellow in 1977 at Harvard's Center for Science and International Affairs, and was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Working Group on the Law of the Sea.

He lives with his wife, Tina, and daughter, Jennifer, in Bethesda, Md.

McCrohon, on his part, said, "Vazquez-Rana is working extremely hard to improve UPI's overall organization and its total news report. He is financially and emotionally committed to the success of UPI. He deserves to have his own team in place to achieve that success." UPI 11-06-86 01:01 pcs