1986 Letter from NYT Concerning Cancellation of UPI Service

This is the text of a Nov. 3, 1986, letter that New York Times publisher Arthur Ochs "Punch" Sulzberger (the father of the current publisher) wrote concerning the cancellation of UPI services. The letter was sent to John Barton, who was no longer with UPI in 1986. Barton had written Sulzberger as both a 25-year veteran of UPI and a Times stockholder, urging him to reconsider the cancellation:


Dear Mr. Barton:

I can certainly understand your unhappiness with the decision of The New York Times to discontinue the UPI service.

This is a decision that was not lightly taken. For some years we have been telling the UPI people that the thrust of their service was such that we were making less and less use of the material.

When UPI was sold to Mexican interests, we had a discussion with the new owners and undertook a survey with them to determine if we could make better use of the service. After all, we don't like paying almost $1-million dollars for something we do not use.

We tried to retain the picture service but they seemed reluctant to furnish only this part of the service.

I would be very sorry if losing The New York Times account were to sound the death knell for UPI. But, as with every other business, we do not have unlimited resources.

With every best wish,

/s/ Arthur Ochs Sulzberger

"P.S. By the way, we endeavored to terminate our services with UPI in a quiet, dignified manner. I am sorry this story came out as it did in The Washington Post."