Geimann Report IX

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

UPI-Newser 8-28

(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.)


Andrew, the deadly Gulf hurricane, is history.

Andrew, the UPI story, continues.

For most of this week, bureaus in the Southeast and up through the Ohio River valley have been tracking the most devastating hurricane to hit the United States this century.

The catastrophe began early Monday morning when Andrew's 162-mph winds rolled over the Florida coast and tore through densely populated housing developments south of Miami.

Andrew did not distinguish by economic class. The poor and homeless in the agricultural belt near Homestead lost their homes and - in some cases - their lives. Closer to Miami, the wealthy also felt the sting.

So did UPI.

Regional Editor Tobin Beck, maintaining a vigil at home when power in the bureau was knocked out, mainatined a stream of leads plotting the storm's progress and detailing the early reports of damage.

By first light, the magnitude was becoming clear. Staffers Jane Sutton and Les Kjos went out in search of the stories, while Ellen Beck, working from home in North Miami, filed the wire, worked the phones and kept the AAA wire up to date.

Sutton, the veteran Miami bureau reporter, went out after the storm passed southern Florida to talk with survivors. In several stories this week, she movingly told about their struggles: "For shelter residents who formed a human chain at the height of Hurricane Andrew to move from their threatened gymnasium to the safety of another building, life has settled into a numbing routine. Their immediate needs for food, water, sleeping cots and sturdy roofs over their heads are taken care of. It's the rest of their lives that worries them."

The Becks, Sutton, Kjos and, effective Friday, Joe Chrysdale will be following the story for many weeks and months as the rebuilding progresses. Beck is even working on plans to buttress his staff with others to monitor a variety of stories emerging from the aftermath.

A busy staffer was engineer Ron Gosselin, who gathered up those flying satellite dishes and ultimately restored the bureau and helping to make this all possible. He, too, will be busy in the weeks ahead.

One personal note: Beck had to extricate his auto from under a tree, which fell during the full fury of the storm. He reports just a few scratches to the car, which he then drove to the darkened bureau.

It took Andrew three hours to clear Florida. Emerging from the Everglades by late mnorning, the storm skipped out over the Gulf of Mexico and headed for the Louisiana Texas coast.

Southwest Regional Editor Phil Magers in Dallas worked non-stop to cover Andrew's final assault. Magers worked until the story was done, some 30 hours later, expertly fielding a steady stream of copy from former staffers Steve Watsky and Gene Mearns along the Louisiana coast and Austin staffer Mark Langford, who drove into the storm. Hari Krishnan, Bill Ryan and Dick Kelsey worked alongside Magers in the buro, helping with the storm and covering the rest of the news, too.

Everyone involved in our coverage - from the soggy troops outdoors to the editors in the bureaus - showed the determination of Unipressers everywhere.

UPI Interview Nets New View of Cold War

Washington bureau chief Frank Csongos sat down with Kremlin-insider Georgi Arbatov for what turned out to be a fascinating interview.

Arbatov, who was in Washington this week on a book tour, said the U.S. military buildup under President Ronald Reagan actually prolonged the Cold War, not hastened its end, because it put pressure on the Soviet military.

Arbatov also said he still believes that the socialist ideals have merits but acknowledged communism was a utopian concept that led to Stalinsm and terror.

Csongos wrote a weekend piece that moved with UPI photographs. He also saved some quotes for a broadcast farm column - Arbatov says food production in Russia has dropped drastically under the new regime - and is reviewing Arbatov's book.


UPI Florida has shifted its Tallahassee, Fla., bureau manager to Miami and hired a new state capital reporter.

Al Schoch in TA is a Pennsylvania native who worked his way south in radio in Augusta, Ga and Charleston SC. He then worked as midday news anchor for the now-defunct SunStar Radio Network in Florida, and then a capital bureau reporter for Florida's Radio Networks. A die-hard sports fan (and reporter), Al is known to travel the eastern seaboard to take in the Masters, the Yankees, the Seminoles, or the Super Bowl. Al also kept the UPI radio network on top of the Florida State Seminoles' football and basketball programs last year. Schoch started work ahead of schedule: This week, to help with coverage of Hurricane Andrew.

Joe Chrysdale, the one-time state government reporter, says he's not sure, but thinks he was born in a Toronto newsroom. His late father, Joe Sr., a Canadian broadcasting legend remembered in the Canadian National Archives and Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame had 'Little Joe' tearing copy, doing voice work, and making television appearances as early as age four. During the Florida legislature's numerous deadlocked special sessions this year, Joe found himself in the unlikely role of explaining legislative procedure to fellow American reporters. Before accepting the transfer to Miami, Chrysdale had to be assured it NEVER snows there.

Sales Adds 2 More; 1 To Go

The rebuilding UPI Sales Deparment has two more new salesmen.

Don Giordano of Charlotte, N.C., will be joining the team working in Chicago. Dan has worked at several radio and TV stations in North Carlonia, and most recently was at WWWB-FM, working on unique marketing concepts for the station's advertising department. He's a graduate of the Univening in the new Americans with Diabilities Act.

Wolffe, who frequently writes about issues of interest to the disabled and hanpend a week in St. Louis next month, being trained to understand the effects of the wide-reaching ADA law. The program is sponsored by the Equal Employment Oppoon and the Justice Department.

Wolffe said on Wednesday: "A few weeks ago, eye mentioned eye had applied for trng (since eye fulfilled one requirement of hav) and wanted more knowledge so eye could write more & better stories in this area. However, then eye thot my chances were slim to none since eye was told thoused for the training. Smorn eye rcvd call saying 'ur on the list.'

"The ADA and how it's applied to millions of lives and corporations etc. is the bgng of a hal change & grtr opportunity in America. Insightful practical stories in the nuts and bolts of this law and its meaning and intent (which eye'm sure cud have a dience and in general disability community, 1 in 6 people in nation) should result from this in the future."

For the record, Jerry has cerebral palsy that hiy to get around on foot. He uses to two walking canes.

Fin&Admin Shifts Worldwide

A shift in finance and administration department this month is sendrning, head of credit and collections in Washington, to the new position of controller for Latin America, based in Buenos Aires. Corning will report to Lisa nternational controller in Washington.

Corning will be part of UPI's network of international accountants who will be keeping track of expenditures and revenorld, reporting directly back to the headquarters office in Washington.

Chief Financial Officer David Moir says the new reporting structure will bring UPIrations into line with traditional and standard accounting practices.

This new reporting structure also involves Kim Shubrook in London and Ricky Chanll three will work closely with Hamilton in Washington.