Geimann Report X



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

UPI-Newser 7-24

(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

Plans are in progress on several fronts to revitalize UPI after a long and difficult period.

New staffers have been hired in New York, Chicago and Washington to replace recent departees. More new people will be added soon in places where a vacancy will hurt the service.

Bob Kennedy, president of Worldwide News Inc. and deputy chief of Middle East Broadcasting Centre, spent the week back home in London and plans to return to Washington the week of July 26-Aug 1. He has been in touch daily.

Kennedy says the new owners remain on track for rebuilding and strengthening the worldwide news agency. An advertising firm has been retained and is working on material to show the news industry that UPI remains in business, providing coverage of the day's top stories.

Although still being discussed, Kennedy says he's also looking at the idea of specialty services, sharply focused on issues relevant to the media and non-media customers.

One such example, he has said, is a petrochemical wire that could, using MBC's connections in the Middle East, become the definitive word on oil prices and the energy industry.

But such special services, Kennedy says, will only be possible if the overall wire is strengthened and that's the current goal of the new owners.

In the meantime, the process of converting UPI from the old ownership to the new continues. Sometimes, the transition has been a bit bumpy and the changes come slowly. Changing owners does not happen overnight.

A piece of good news: We paid dozens of domestic stringers Friday, the first payments since the new owners took over. Payments for work done before June 27 remain subject to the bankruptcy court. We're still waiting for a date from the court for those issues to be processed.

Olympians

UPI is finally at the Summer Olympics in Barcelona.

More than a dozen reporters and editors from the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America arrived in the Spanish seacoast town this week, ready for three weeks of international athletic competition.

Sports Editor Fred McMane, European Sports Editor Morley Myers and LatAm Editor Herman Beals are heading up the coverage, with Canada General Manager Michael Barrett concentrating on coverage for our major Canadian customer, Standard Broadcast News.

The UPI team was greeted by some glitches, including astronomical policies in changing U.S. dollars into pesetas - the local Spanish currency. A few accommodation glitches were still being worked out at week's end.

McMane and Myers have develped a coverage plan for the team of Unipressers to focus on important events and high-profile competitions, such as track & field, boxing, basketball, swimming and gymastics.

Covering an Olympics - or any continuing event - is a grueling experience. While Barcelona is a much sought-after destination for vacationers, for the UPI crew it will be 18-hour days and over-priced meals and the crush of the world's media trying to watch the events.

The team in place is top-notch, and has some of UPI's best writers and reporters.

Still A Force

Helen Thomas.

For more than three decades, the name has been enough to catch the attention of editors and television producers on stories about the president.

It happened again this week.

At midday Monday, Helen talked with aides to President Bush and learned the president had asked Secretary of State James Baker III to take a leave of absence from the Cabinet to run his troubled political campaign.

The story, moved as an urgent about 3ped Monday, said Baker would leave his post at State sometime before the Republican National Convention in mid-August.

Although rumored for some time, it was the first solid evidence Bush had asked his best friend in government to come back and bail out his campaign.

The story was used by radio and television stations, nationwide. On the "CBS Evening News," anchor Dan Rather quoted UPI and said two more words to give the story credibility: Helen Thomas.

The New York Times "broke" the same story Wednesday - two days after UPI had the exclusive.

Helen is accustomed to this kind of treatment. In the early 1970s, just after being named White House bureau chief, Helen found a friend in Martha Mitchell, who regularly talked to Helen about what she knew.

Everyone knows Helen Thomas. She spends considerable time making speeches to college groups, and others, and every time she speak she is a representative of UPI.

Helen has been at the White House since 1961. And, has been a Unipresser for many more years than that.

Chasing Clinton, Gore

UPI Photographer Cliff Owen is just getting back home after spending more than two weeks chasing Democratic presidential nominee Gov. Bill Clinton and his runningmate, Sen. Albert Gore.

Owen flew to Little Rock, Ark., July 9 to shoot the announcement of Gore as vice president, then accompanied Clinton to New York City for the four-day convention that was more coronation than typical Democratic confab.

Then, Owen hopped aboard the bus caravan from New York to St., Louis thgrough the industrial and agricultural states of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois.

Owen returned home July 23, getting set for the GOP convention in Houston.

As the Clinton-Gore trip wound through the states, staffers and stringers along the way kept track of what was said and the reaction of the crowds.

Regional Editor Skip Martin in Philadelphia says a reliable cadre of stringers enabled UPI to keep clients informed, "at least until we could kick 'em into W. Va."

"In New Jersey and Pa., stringers covered at Camden, N.J., Coatesville, Pa. Carlisle, Pa. and Pittsburgh on Friday, Satunsburg, N.Y., will join the staff, replacing Kate Griffin, who has departed.

National Broadcast Desker Amy Simmons, who has kept active woreek while producing televisions shows for the Close-Up Foundation educational organization, comes back to fulltime July 27. Simmons produced television shows tN.

UPI NewsPictures has turned two of its part-timers into fulltimers. Dwayne L. Freeman and Paul Alers, who joined the Picture Department earlier thisme full-time editors.

Three part-timers are joining UPI Radio to replace some folks who left us back in the spring. There's a newscaster, a sportscaster and newscaster is Don Fulsom, who covered the White House for the old UPI Audio during the Watergate years. He's been freelancing of late, but is glad to be returning to UPIhings begin to look up again.

The sportscaster is George McNeilly, who has most recently done sports at the Mutual Broadcasting System and Washington, D.Cn WTEM.

The editor is Martha Willmoth, who used to be the receptionist at UPI's financial center in Fairfax, Virginia. She'll work mornings at Washington, tion WDCT and afternoons at UPI Radio preparing the daily audio feed for religious broadcasters.

In Washington, in the finance and administration department,l, who has handled tax matters most recently, is returning to the payroll department as supervisor, replacing Laurie Jarema, who moves to the General Ledger office, which keeps track of money received by the company. Laurie replacemew, who has taken another job.

Happy Anny Twice

Veteran Boston staffer Dave Haskell, an early riser for many years, had two anniversaries to celebrate on the 12th, Dave passed the 30-year mark with the wire service. Just 10 days later, he and his wifer celebrated their 32nd wedding anniversary. He says: "It't has survived the test of time and the strains of wire service nights, overnights and years of early morning wakeups, not to mention the uncertainties of the"

Congrats!

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