Geimann Report XI

Internal report to UPI employees circa 1992 from former UPI executive Steve Geimann:

UPI-Newser 7-31

(This file is regularly updated for all to read. Our goal is a fresh edition every Friday. Your contributions are needed. We need editorial, sales and people items. Please send them to Geimann-WA via nzm.)


UPI begins its second month under new owners with a statement of objectives, a search for a new chief executive and activity on claims associated with the o-l-d company.

Pieter VanBennekom resigned Monday, one month after Middle East Broadcasting Centre Ltd. took over, saying he wanted the new owner to put their own executive into place.

VanBennekom had earlier relinquished the presidency to Robert D. Kennedy, the MBC deputy chief coordinating much of the work between the two companies. Kennedy is in the process of seeking a new chief executive to run the company.

Two days after departing, VanBennekom had a new job at EastNet, a new company set up to gather news from emerging republics of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. The company is headed by former UPI President Milt Benjamin.

A day later, Kennedy sent a letter to staff, by message wire, outlining some of the objectives for n-e-w UPI. The "clear set of objectives" will help UPI become successful, Kennedy said.

The objectives call for strengthening international news with reporters, stringers, regional desks and other sources; developing domestic U.S. business areas that are likely to become profitable and make the best contributions to the domestic and international wire services; introducing new wires in proven markets and where new reporting sources are introduced, hiring a new marketing and sales team, examinig all internal and external communications, and re-equipping the radio network.

Specific details will develop using some ideas offered by staff but always recognizing the need to supply customers, and the new business we generate, with a dependable and reliable product.

As the same time, action has started to wrap up business with o-l-d UPI. On Friday, the first step in the process occurred with publication of details about filing a pre-bankrupty claim, that is, to seek money owned by UPI before Aug. 28, 1991 - the date of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition.

On Friday, advertisements appeared in two major newspaper listing the deadline for filing pre-bankruptcy claims against o-l-d UPI. The date is Sept. 8, in the New York bankruptcy court. This process only covers claims from before Aug. 28, 1991. Notices will be sent to all possible creditors, such as employees owed vacation time and stringers owed money. A second notice is expected to be mailed in later August with details on the Aug. 28, 1991-June 27, 1992 period.

The expedited process to clear up pre-sale health claims continues, awaiting further action by the judge. No date has yet been set.

Olympians II

UPI Sports Editor Fred McMane has been busy lately, although with two dozen people assigned by UPI to cover the Summer Olympics. The talented crew of writers and editors has been cranking out a steller stream of breaking stories, sidebars and commentary.

Greetings from Barcelona. After 10 days the team of reporters covering the Olympic Games are in agreement with the assessment of an ex-UPI sports editor who once said, "the Olympics is not a sporting event. It's an endurance contest."

A string of 18-hour days has left the crew bleary-eyed but undaunted. Assistant sports editor Fred Lief-NXS continues to turn out erudite and insightful columns, Mike Rabun-DAS spins out well-organized and sharply angled daily roundups and reporters Dave Raffo-NXS (boxing), Jeff Shain-NXS (gymnastics), Tom Withers-NXS (basketball), Marcia Hill-Vienna (swimming) and John Salvado (track and field) have not missed a beat. Same for Herman Beals and his Latin America team of Hugo Coya, Alfredo Francheschi, Carlos Nina Gomez and Carlos Dias.

In addition, Peter Kenney-London has kept us abreast of South Africa's involvement in its first Olympics in 32 years and Giles Tremlett, a local stringer recruited by UPI for the Games, has performed exceptionally as an all-around reporter covering the city of Barcelona.

Ruth Youngblood-Tokyo has performed double-duty, providing features on the events surrounding the athletic competition and covering the yachting competition at the request of our clients in Asia.

If not for the assistance of Canada General Manager Michael Barrett our entire operation would have gone off course before it ever got moving forward. Barrett not only has performed his duties for Standard Broadcast but has assumed the awesome responsibility of making sure the Olympic results get on the wire.

The results service, which churns out 1,000 pages per day, is manned constantly. Copy must be carefully edited for domestic needs (hometowns put in and metric distances converted) and it often takes three people to handle the volume. Rabun and stringer Ben Karlin have supported Barrett in this effort.

As in every international event of this magnitude, there are inconveniences and annoyances. The press village, although comfortable, is too far from the main press center (about a 40-minute bus ride). And food costs much more than originally anticipated.

Getting laundry done at the village has proven to be a real headache. Barrett paid $88 for less than 20 items and when he got his laundry back he found out that he had gotten someone else's, too. Others have had similar experiences.

When sports editor McMane brought up the subject with Barcelona Mayor Pasqual Maragall he did a tap dance worthy of Fred Astaire. Maragall also is the president of the Barcelona Organizing Committee, which established the prices for the Games. However, he did admit that since members of the media do converse and write about such things it might be wise for organizers of future Olympics to arrive at more equitable rates.

Where Dow Jones? Ask Dave McNary

LA's Dave McNary has showed triness worlt at 9:10 am. Wednesday:

NEW YORK (DJ) - Time Warner said it will begin withdrawing the controversial song "Cop Killer" after the rapper Ice-T asked the groucording from his latest album.

Time Warner halted on NYSE pending news.

Hung Tube 'No Problem' For Pluta

Lansing's Rick Pluta beat rox Thursday whSupreme Court acted in one of the hottest legislative issues. The court bypassed the board of state canvassers and gave the legislature 40 days to act on an aue rollback sponsored by AAA or let voters decide it in November. All-news WWJ rushed it on the air, saying "this just in." Rick's tube was down so he phoned aU, turning a problem into a victory.

Yugoslav Help

UPI's coverage of the Yugoslav crisis has been strengthened with the addition this week of two mors in Belgrade and a new stringer in the Croatian capital, Zagreb.

Dejan Anastasijevic and Natela Sjeklocha joined as local stringers in Belgrade. Dejan, ng member of widely respected B-92, Belgrade's only independent radio station. An English Literature major in university, Dejan has had extensive experience coronts in Croatia and Bosnia-Hercegovina.

Natela, 28, an American-Montenegrin from California, is fluent in Serbo-Croat. She has had free-lancing experience ed States and Yugoslavia.

The new Zagreb stringer is Laura Pitter, an American free-lancer, also from California, who helped found the first English-langu Prague, Czechoslovakia, before moving recently to Croatia.

The addition of the new trio, working under Belgrade bureau manager Jonathan Landay and chief Nesho Djuric, has greatly enhanced UPI's coverage of the biggest running story in Europe.

Hairless, or Hair Raising?

Working at UPI can sometimes bend more than a few staffers have pulled theirs out. But Toronto buro chief B.J. Del Conte had his shaved off live Thursday during a national radio broadcast onte, guesting on a phone in show that asked the question "Is bald beautiful?", cheerily let the host shave his head. Then the pair fielded calls, mostly from of whom said the hairy head is dead. Said Del Conte, host of a wacky live sports show, "Being bald is liberating, but I think I look like a giant penis with ory ran in the Toronto Sun.

UPI Finds a Manila Home

The July 26 Philippine Star featured three UPI dispatches in its views and analyses section on ptary signed by Steve Gerstel on the U.S. presidential election ("If God could create the world in six days, surely the Democrats and Republicans can select aminee in four"); State Department Correspondent Sid Balman's piece from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, about Baker seeking leverage in Mideast peace talks and an unsch from Moscow on the banned Soviet Communist Party.

The only other news agency story on that page was an undated DPA article about the press in Eastern Europ Me!

Pennsylvania State Editor Skip Martin sent the following correction to last week's UPI Newser:

"Got rightly chastised for my neh500 msg last week re e I failed to note that it's the loyal staffers who take the stringers copy and turn it into UPI style and make it readable. For that I apologize and tip of thicated warriors - Charles Hutzler in TR, and Michael Dabney and David Enscoe in NA."