Geimann Report V



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

UPI-Newser 2-12

(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.)

Company Update

Another group of checks was issued Feb. 12 for employees of o-l-d UPI with UNused vacation time from part of 1992.

This payment is being made for more than a dozen UPI staffers who did not have completed timesheet files when the first run went out a week ago.

Human Resources continues to process timesheets for Jan. 1-June 27, 1992, to complete time records. Accounts Payable will process checks in batches just as soon as remaining employee files are completed.

On another front, preliminary work is in process begin settling administrative claims from the August 1991 bankruptcy through sale on June 28, 1992.

The bankruptcy judge in New York City soon will be asked to set a date by which claims must be filed. That action will begin the notification process, which involves mailing forms to all vendors and employees.

Domestic, International Teamwork on 2 Stories

UPI's U.S. and international bureaus cooperated twice this week on two major stories: The Lufthansa hijacking and the hunt for the CIA murderer.

In Germany, Bonn bureau manager Patrick Moser, working from home, began working the story just minutes after word broke that a Lufthansa jet had been hijacked to New York.

Moser filed several leads as the plane diverted from its Egypt-Ethiopia course to the United States.

NX's end began when it looked like that Lufthansa plane was headed to New York. Calls to the Port Authority, the New York Police, the FAA and the FBI gave us the start of preparations for handling the hijacker which were sent to the Foreign Desk to be plugged into the main lead.

Reporter William J. Reilly and NX photo chief Henny Abrams headed for the airport where the Port Authority had set up a headquarters for the press.

In the bureau, Senior Writer Fred Winship, veteran broadcast writer Phil Newman and newcomer Tracey Miller worked the phones and fed copy to seasoned desker Don Mullen, who wrote the breaking leads. Reilly also filed to Radio.

We bunned the 3:51 p.m. touchdown and the surrender of the hijacker at 4:06 p.m. and had two writethrus on the wire by 4:55 p.m.

The shooting at CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., crossed three divisions: regional, national and international.

On Jan. 25., a gunman carrying an AK-47 stepped out of his car and calmly walked down the lane between two rows cars waiting to turn into the CIA. The killer placed the automatic rifle within inches of the car windows and fired pointblank at the victims. He escaped.

Regional Editor Gary Marshall in Richmond, Va., with help from E. Michael Myers and the WA staff, worked phones and monitored live TV to get details about the shooting.

When the suspect was first identified as Mir Aimal Kansi, a Pakistani national, Myers worked the story from the live broadcasts while Richmond filled in details from telephone calls.

In Pakistan, Anwar Iqbal in Islamabad picked up the story when it appeared Mir bought a ticket for home. His 800-word story filled in many details.

Ryan 'Turns' Cop For A Day

Dallas staffer (or should it be sleuth) Bill Ryan had an unexpected role in solving a Dallas murder case.

During a recent weekend, Ryan called Dallas police to gather additional information on the murder of a Dallas cabbie.

He told Detective Gary Kirkpatrick he had seen a similar cabbie murder in Houston during the holidays.

Kirkpatrick was unaware of the Houston case but he called Houston cops to follow the lead. Among other evidence, police found the same pistol was used in both crimes.

On Monday, the Dallas County Grand jury indicted the Houston suspect in the Dallas slaying.

What A Long, Strange Trip

Correspondent Greg Gransden of our Moscow bureau recently visited Iran and got two fine stories out of his stay there, one on Iranian culture's split personality, another on its economy. Here's Greg's account of his trip:

"My girlfriend and I got our visas to visit Iran a mere six months after we first applied for them, and we flew down to Tehan from the Azerbaijan capital Baku - which is swarming with Iranian businessmen.

"One of the things that struck us about Iranians (apart from the miniskirts and fishnet stockings under the chadors) is how irreverent they could be about their own government - even about their late spiritual leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. But only in private, and only among trusted friends.

"An Iranian friend told us: 'When Khomeini died, we all wore black in the streets and pretended to be sad. But that night there were parties everywhere.'

"The atmosphere reminded me a bit of the old pre-glasnost Soviet Union, where eveyone pretended to be good communists in public but in private scoffed at the ideology.

"A South Korean businessman who has been doing business in Iran for years regaled us with stories of debauchery: procuring prostitutes for senior Iranian government officials, weeklong drinking binges with mullahs, policemen buying cases of beer at a Tehran speakeasy."

Working in Concert at UPI

When Radio Network Program Director and classical music aficionado Howard Dicus started writing a classical music column for the Broadcast Wire, he assumed he'd be a solo act.

Who else at UPI could possibly have the time or interest to feed him classical music news?

But VP Bob Kieckhefer told him: "Go ahead and ask for help. I think you'll be surprised how many longhairs we have out there."

Bob was right.

The most interesting item in the "Clef's Notes" column that moved Friday, February 12th was provided by Nancy Kercheval in Baltimore. The Baltimore Symphony, which does more youth concerts than any other orchestra in the country, admitted its one-Millionth child to Meyerhoff Hall, and le. If I remembered everybody right now, you'd run out of boldface!"

Howard, who reads n-z-m, can use any news releases you ge upcoming seasons of symphony orchestras. "Just noticing that two or three orchestras are programming the music of a composer who doesn't usually get a lot of Clef story."

Campbell Farewell

Unipressers gathered at Chris Mead's Detroit apartment Feb. 6, to bid farewell to Jim Campbell and his wife, Betty after 34 years with UPI - the last 11 as Detroit bureau manager - and returning to Oklahoma City, where he and Betty Sue are starting up a travel agency. We them both, and wish them the best in their new venture.

Among those present for the big send-off were current staffers Melanie Deeds, Jerry Wolffe and Rickr staffers Paul Vogle, Frank Lazzari, Jan Zverina, Mary Dempsey and Chris Parks along with their families.

Jerry Wolffe presented Jim and Betty Sue some com a practical gift that will come in handy in their new business. The rest of the gang came up with a slew of joke gifts, including a cap with "Campbell-DU" speins, some old company buttons and what might best be termed the ultimate "work schedule from hell."

A Personal Note

Every Unipresser has a milestone.the day they started work in a UPI bureau, punching tape, making phone calls, defining blocks, taking pictures, cutting tape. The best-known names measure theidouble digits; many accumulate the years and a few count the months.

This weekend, I join the double-digit group. It was 10 years ago Feb. 14 that I walked N.Y., bureau, sat down at a "noisy" old Zentec and learned how to file the New York state broadcast wire.

I was excited and nervous. I showed up in a three-pstripe suit and, after much ribbing, was told this was not proper attire - especially for the 3:30-midnight trick. I switched to sport coats and slacks.

I leat first week with bleary eyes and a growing anxiety about how I was doing. (I'm from New York, so Ed "How'm I doin'?" Koch was a big influence.)

In my firstad run ins with the overnight national desk, then in New York, and even with the woman who hired me. I thought my tenure would be short-lived.

Nine years, six bureaus later, I was named executive editor, which for me was the highest honor that could be afforded someone who worked for UPI.

None of us could have imagined how the past few years would be. None who survived the '84 paycut, the '85 and '91 bankruptices, the '90 paycut or the '92 auction had any reason to think we would left to pursue other interests, escape uncertainity or move to greener pastures. We miss them. But, we survived. We became a leaner and a little meaner.

I'm more excited and less nervous than I was on my first day. I'm excited that we have owners who are developinga business plan.

I'm less nervous because I've learned a lot about UPI people, from stringers who call to complain to staffers nationwide to the women and& Administration who are as critical to our success as the people who write the stories.

So I mark my milestone of 10 years confident that UPI will prosper that the commitments made so far will be successful and that we'll all mark many milestones to come.

Personally, I'm shooting for 35.

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