Geimann Report IXX

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

UPI-Newser 12-18

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A delegation from UPI's new ownership spent four days at World Headquarters this week, discussing long-range and short-range plans for the company.

The group, which included an accountant, two information specialists and two U.S. based consultants heard reports on UPI's current operations and discussed a business plan being developed by senior management.

Middle East Broadcasting Centre Ltd., which bought UPI in late June, sent the delegation to help develop and shape the direction and vision for the company's future.

Eton Fung-on, a London-based accountant, led the group that also included Dr. Walid A. Hashem, director of Dallah Communications Holding in Jeddah, Saudia Arabia; Mohammed Al-Shammary, managing director of International Information and Trading Services Co. of Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia; Pat Murphy, former publisher of the Arizona newspapers; and Tom McKiernan, a businessman from New York City.

From Monday through Thursday, these five met with various UPI executives and studied financial records showing how the company is doing. They headed back to London and Saudi Arabia on Thursday, where further meetings will take place with directors and the owners.

Unlike past owners, Middle East Broadcasting has not issued directives for future plans. Instead, it has asked UPI to develop the plans for its future. They said UPI's staff knows the news agency business better than they do, and they should develop the plans.

This process has been underway for some time. Regional editors in the United States and department heads, along with the Sales Department, met by telephone twice during December to discuss future projects. Some of these ideas will be developed into the eventual business plan.

Regional vice presidents in Asia, Europe and Latin America have also offered plans and suggestions for the direction in their regions.

This process will involve decisions by UPI's board of directors, which will meet soon to discuss the plans, then approve, or modify, the proposals made by management and by the committee that visited UPI.

After their deliberations are completed, and no specific timetable was spelled out, a formal plan will be adopted and put into effect. Then, we will have a direction, and a commitment from the owners. This major step will provide a more secure future for the company.

In conversations, Hashem and Shammary were enthusiastic about developing the business plan and exploring new markets for UPI service in the United States and internationally. Both men said UPI must have a plan for its future, rather than operating on a day-to-day basis as it has for more than six months.

Such an arrangement can sometimes cause problems in maintaining operations, especially when some of the decision-makers are in cities distant from World Headquarters.

Murphy, a longtime U.S. editor and publisher, spent two days involved in discussions about potential news-related projects. A combat reporter during the Korean War, Murphy is a business consultant concentrating on media businesses. He is a member of the American Society of Newspaper Editors.

Colbert Appointment

Ron Colbert, a seven-year veteran of UPI Radio, has been named news director of the network, responsible for all English language programming.

Colbert, 40, has been with UPI since July 1985. He's been the morning editor for most of that time, but also handles sportscasting and field reporting assignments.

Before joining the network, Ron spent eight years with the North Carolina News Network as sports director, anchor and reporter. This state network is one of the finest in the country and the staff won numerous awards including a Peabody while Ron was there. Ron was news director of WELK Charlottesville, Virginia, and previously worked for WINA in the same city, where his career began in 1975.

Ron grew up in Washington, D.C. He has a B.A. in American History from the University of Virginia with minors in accounting and speech communication. His wife Jackie is an aide to the president of Howard University.

Colbert and Armando Trull, head of Radio Noticias who joined UPI Radio this summer, will work with Howard Dicus, who moved earlier this year into the job of program director.

Trull, known around the office for his unabashedly loud ties, joined UPI from WSCV-TV, flagship station of the Telemundo cable network. His duties as assignment editor involved in him planning and field production of TV news coverage of Miami riots, the Manuel Noriega trial, and many other stories in Florida and around the Caribbean.

Before that he was a general assignment reporter for Miami all-news radio station WINZ. Armando was a producer-writer for the Miami Herald, and he broke into radio at WQAM-WKIS Miami in 1988.

Armando studied economics, politics and history at the University of Miami.

Dicus joined UPI as a morning news anchor in June 1985, became news director in May 1991 and program director about a year later.

A veteran of the Mutual Broadcasting System, now part of Westwood Radio Networks, Dicus also worked as an anchor-reporter at a Washington all-news station, and was news director of a small town rock station.

UniStyle Updates!

After months of experimentation, trial-and-error and no small measure of confusion, we've put together what we hope will be the definitive description of UniStyle filing and writing. It's stashed in ngh300 and ngh301, with a "how-to" of writing style in ngh302.

Suggestions and questions are still welcome.

The basic rules remain: Get it first, but first get it right. Then write and file it in UniStyle!

Mrocka Retires After Nearly 4 Decades

After 38 years with the company, Frank Mrocka-NX tele-pub drew more than 200 people, who crowded into a downtown Manhattan club to raise a glass, eat a few hors dshare the fellowship of their association with UPI.

The oldtimers, including former Editor in Chief H.L. Stevenson and too many reporters to recount, shared stories of years - and owners - gone past.

More than a few current Unipressers attended, too, including Business Editor Roz Liston, Sports Editor Fred McBureau, Chief Ned Kilkelly, New Jersey Editor Frances Burns and dozens of reporters from sports, financial and thd local desk.

Universal Desk chief Lou Carr, President-Sales I.J. "Pinky" Vidacovich and Executive Editor Steve Geimann represented the Washington area.

Friendly Sign

HG staffer Rich Lewier returning from trip to New York commented that he had seen a sudden expansion of UPI copy in the New York Post. The Post subscribes to the UPI Metro Wire.

Job Security?

Former Maryland State Editor Page Boinest, who left UPI two years ago, has been named press secretary to Maryland Gov. Donald Schaefer - his fourth press secretary in six years.

Boinest, 31, had been acting press secretary since her predecessor was reassigned. Boinest, who joined Schaefer as a speech writer in 1990, will be paid $67,400; her predecessor got $71,000.