'UPI Selects Its New Top Editors'

Here's a story by James Roper from the Jan. 10, 1987, edition of Editor & Publisher:

United Press International has appointed four managing editors -- two hired from the Washington Post, one from Newsweek and one selected from within UPI.

UPI president Milton R. Benjamin said he expected eventually to pick one of the four to be overall editor of the wire service for the 1990s.

Until then, Benjamin said, he would serve as editor and sit with the four managing editors on a five-man editorial board to run UPI.

Benjamin made the announcements Jan. 6, exactly two months after he became president of UPI, succeeding Max McCrohon. McCrohon held the presidency only three months after being promoted from editor-in-chief, but resigned in one of the numerous management disputes that have beset UPI since it was purchased by Mexican publisher Mario Vazquez Rana.

The new appointments do not necessarily assure calm.

The four selected by Benjamin to be managing editors and competitors for the top spot are:

** Barry Sussman, 52, a veteran of 21 years with the Washington Post; he was city editor in 1972 when he was named editor in charge of the paper's Watergate coverage.

At UPI, he will be managing editor/national, in charge of covering national affairs, including government and political reporting at the federal and state levels.

** Ben Cason, 44, assistant managing editor of the Post for the last 10 years; he has been news editor and night managing editor and more recently has directed development of news sections.

At UPI, he will be managing editor/news, with responsibility over financial, sports, photos, graphics, features and regional coverage as well as correspondents worldwide.

** Kim Willenson, 49, Newsweek magazine congressional correspondent and former foreign correspondent. Prior to that he was UPI's Asia division news editor and a foreign correspondent there.

In his new post at UPI, he will be managing editor/international, in charge of covering international affairs, including diplomatic and national security affairs.

** Bill Ferguson, 60, has been acting managing editor of UPI in place of the popular, recently fired Ron Cohen; Ferguson, with UPI since 1950, has lengthy management experience with its news wires for broadcasters and is credited with many of UPI's editorial innovations, including high-speed customized services.

He will be managing editor/broadcasting, responsible for UPI's broadcast news wires, radio network and special services for television clients.

Benjamin, in announcing the appointments, said: "My expectations is that one of the managing editors named today will emerge over time as first among equals and will become the editor of UPI for the 1990s."

He said the appointment are only "the beginning of a series of moves we will be making in the weeks ahead to further strengthen our editing structure, and to insure that UPI has the most talented and experienced reporters available in our key beats domestically and around the world."