Geimann Report XVII

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

UPI-Newser 10-23

(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.)

Communications Update

Work continues at the UPI computer center in Alexandria, Va., to resolve many problems that continue to cause interruptions for bureaus and clients.

In the past two weeks, technicians installed an uninterruptable power supply that will be activated when the main building power fails to keep the computers and communications circuits in business.

This is a safety net we have needed and the reason for the 3 ^ hour outage Sunday morning.

Engineers are also working to repair a more troublesome problem with the x.25 communications network that links all major bureaus with the computer center.

Codex, builder of the equipment, has reconfigured devices for Chicago, Washington, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Dallas and other x.25 bureaus. Washington was done last Friday and the process was completed on Thursday, although a few problems persist.

On Friday, Executive Editor Steve Geimann met with Micro Research Industries, the company that runs the computer center, to discuss recent troubles and stress the urgent need to improve reliability of the system.

Bill White, vice president of MRI, acknowledged that the move from Vienna, Va., to the new center in Alexandria was not as smooth as expected by MRI and caused some of the problems. White said all efforts are being made to improve reliability of the system.

After more than an hour of discussion, MRI said it understood the critical needs UPI has in collecting, processing and distributing news, and they promised to continue making improvements to the system. UPI made it clear that the goal must be "zero defects," weeks free from any disruption.

It might be said the computer is a work in progress. Adjustments made to the x.25 system this past week stemmed from the discovery of glitches, MRI said, unknown to the manufacturer or to the programmers.

Politics Redux

UPI's Washington bureau is heading up coverage during the final two weeks of the turbulent U.S. political campaign. Reporters are being assigned to travel with the leading candidates through Election Day.

UPI Radio White House reporter Bill Small has been traveling with Bill Clinton, and Little Rock reporter Stephen Buel joins the campaign for the first half of the final week.

The wireside White House crew of Tom Ferraro, Lori Santos and Steve Heilbronner has been with President Bush.

UPI's Helen Thomas, at the White House since 1961, served for the first time as a debate panelist for the final meeting of the three presidential candidates in East Lansing, Mich.

UPI bureaus in all four of the debate cities - and in cities where the candidates are visiting - are playing key roles in assisting in coverage of the campaign. Dallas has been critical in watching the telegenic Ross Perot.

The Radio Network, always looking for actualities, is plugged into both the Bush and Clinton campaigns for the sounds of the campaign.

UPI Newspictures will be covering the last week of the campaign with the aid of the very latest in imaging technology.

Cliff Owen-WAP will cover Clinton with the Kodak Digital camera that will allow images to be on the desk of client editor within minutes. The camera needs no film or processing, drastically cutting the time to transmit a photo.

Coverage of Bush will match Clinton with Leighton Mark and Martin Jeong insuring timely pictures of Bush through election day.

In Dallas, photographer Gary Edwards will concentrate on Ross Perot also with a Leaf picture scanner and other equipment.

Photo News

UPI Newspictures moved the first graphics on the wire that incorporate photographs with graphics.

This is possible using the Macintosh system connected to the main picture computer system. These new graphics have greater appeal to both newspaper and broadcast clients.

Pleese, lets cut down typoes!

And silly mistakes, too! There are far, far too many typos, misspellings and style violations in all the UPI reports.

Of course, we're all working too hard and trying to wring the maximum product out of limited resources. That's an explanation. But it's not an excuse. There simply is no excuse for filing sloppy copy to the wire. PLEASE compose carefully so these embarrassing mistakes don't get into copy in the first place. Try your best to read out your copy or someone else's with care and give it your undivided attention.

The quest for perfection is endless. The goal is unattainable. Everyone knows that. We must keep trying and come a bit closer. And yes, there are three mistakes in that headline! Did you catch them?

From Skiing to Tropics, Hill Adjusts

Ace European skiing writer and Vienna stalwart Marcia Hill will have to find a new specialty.

Marcia, who has headed our Vienna bureau since 1990 after working as a stringer there for several years, specialized in Alpine sports while running the UPI news operation in Austria, Romania, Bulgaria and Albania.

Several months ago she expressed a wish to return to her native Australia after eight years in Austria. The glowing recommendations poured into Hong Kong from London, praising her dedication, ability and professionalism, at the same time lamenting the loss to the European division.

As there was no opening in Australia, we compromised a bit and now she has arrived to take over the Singapore bureau.

Talk about a change!

Despite the drastic switch from snow-covered evergreens to swaying tropical palms, and schnitzels to coconut curries, Marcia began settling in this past week, looking for a place to live, tackling the usual paperwork for press accreditation, work permit, etc. After surviving the collapse of the sending equipment on her first day, things are moving along.

She now may have to speces A. Tandy, a veteran broadcaster , Friday joined the agency as sales executive serving Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana and New Mexico.

Tandy comes to UPI from Press Promotions Inc., wheeting representative selling complete marketing packages to radio and television stations in the California and the Southwest.

Tandy has more than 25 years of management, sales, and marketing at radio and television stations in seven states.

A few weeks ago, Gene Puschel, former sales manager at Congressional Quarn Washington, joined the sales staff as director of government and non-media sales. He replaced Karen Ullman, who departed to return to school and have a baast two months, UPI has hired six other salesmen to visit clients, develop new markets and sell the service to broadcasters, newspapers and to non-media custonovan is based in New York City, covering New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Maine. (21an Giordano works out of Tampa, Fla., and is responsible for Florida, Virginia, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Delaware, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Maryland. (813-572-4787)

Howard Gherman is based in Chicago, and travels through Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Kentucky and Missouri. (312-781-1614) is also in Chicago, working Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Iowa, Nebraska, North and South Dakota. (312-781-1615)

Perry Adams parks his briefcase in San Francinorthern California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and Arkansas. (415-552-5903)

Paul Vane is in Los Angeles, and handles southern ona, Utah, Nevada and Hawaii.

General sales questions or specific questions, or problems about SelectNEWS and FaxNEWS, call Washington.

Dick McCormick Dies

Veteran is an overused word. People are becoming veterans after too little time on the job. Technically, a veteran served in the military during war time, and McCormick was a veteran technically, and in every other sense.

For 38 years, Dick worked at United Press and later UPI, reporting and editing news from Newnd, for most of his tenure, from the nation.

Dick died Monday at Stratton Veterans Affairs Hospital. He was 67, had been ill for some time with emphysema, aned for two days because of lung cancer.

As an 18 year old, Dick was drafted into the U.S. Army, served briefly in Europe before suffering severe leg wounds fnd. He was awarded a Purple Heart before returning to the United States, where he was discharged.

McCormick joined UP in April 1952, took a demotion to part-and teletype operator in one of the news agency's frequent cutbacks, earning praise from Albany bureau chief Kirtland T. King.

"You will be happy to know tck, who took over the combo job of part-time office boy and puncher, is working out swell," King wrote in January 1953.

Dick's attitude was simple. "My mainying with the United Press. I'll take any kind of a job."

For much of his time in Chicago, McCormick could be found after his midnight to 8:30 a.m. "overnig Billy Goat Tavern, a Chicago journalists' hangout.

He retired on his 65th birthday in Chicago, leaving the service during a time of layoffs forced by the agy, saying he would rather retire and "save a job for a younger guy."