Paul Steinle's First "Management Update"



This is the first "management message" (later to become known as the "hotline") posted in Feburary1988 by then-UPI PresidentPaul Steinle, who came in with the FNN takeover:


178m memo 2-26 to: upi employees from: paul steinle re: first management update date: february 26, 1988 the wnw management team that took over upi last friday has been moving forward aggressively to get a handle on upi activities in key areas of the company. a team of 16 people, so far, with specific experience at company turnarounds has been assigned to perform a thorough review of upi activities, solicit comments and suggestions and begin the formulation of a business plan to move upi forward. the business plan will address all activities in the company, and will describe expense and revenue budgets to support these activities. upi needs a business plan if it is to operate in an efficient, cost-effective manner. the plan will also be used to raise additional capital funds for future operations. gary prince is leading the group of financial analysts who are reviewing upi's accounting procedures and financial practices. gary, an experienced cpa, is the cfo of infotechnology. he works from offices in fairfax, va., and will also function as upi's interim cfo. members of his group include ed byrd, eric hoffman and dan dailey. this week, john koonce, the president of infotech, is filling in for gary, who will arrive monday the 29th. jim arnold, a lawyer with 17 years experience, is leading the legal task force. jim is the counsel for infotech, operating from fairfax and new york city. he has three additional lawyers on his team: frank kane, bill brownley and leslie glen. the marketing task force is led by amber gordon. amber is the chairman of quest business agency, a new york and houston-based marketing and advertising firm. amber has specialized in turnarounds with infotech for over six years, and before that held several marketing positions in various industries. i am assisting amber, and we are looking for another consultant to join us with news industry marketing credentials. sara brown is reviewing the company's personnel practices. sara has her own consulting firm, but she spent three years as training and developement manager with the los angles times, 10 years as a v.p. of human relations with the vancouver (wash.) columbian and is a recent past president of the newspaper personnel relations association. sara is also my wife. dominic laiti, the chairman of telecommunication industries, inc. (tii), a vienna, va., data processing and telecommunicationsfirm, is drawing on expertise from tii, and from data broadcasting corp., another vienna firm with expertise in network transmission and hardware and software development. michael wellesley-wesley is a director and business analyst for the london investment firm, stephen rose and partners ltd. michael was intimately involved, as a director, in the launch of the independent, a new london newpaper filling the gap created when murdoch purchased the times. dwight geduldig is a regional director for the american hospital association in sacremento, calif. he is helping to oversee public relations and corporate affairs. dwight "speed" geduldig is a former unipresser, and helped dr. earl brian, wnw chairman, when he was secretary of health in california in the early 70s. he has also worked as a lobbyist for the hospital association on the hill. mark estren is executive vice president of infotech's business information group. mark and i will be reviewing activities in the editorial area. mark was formerly manger of fnn business programming, and before that he launched the nightly business report on pbs. mark also has news experience with cbs, abc and knight ridder, both in broadcasting and in print. he has phd degrees in psychology and english and a m.s. in journalism from columbia university, where he teaches as an adjunct professor. jim thistle, who is director of the school of journalism at boston university and former news director at wcvb-tv in boston will also be helping us out. jim is on the wnw group board. this is the wnw turnaround team: business and news industry professionals with experience in challenging situations. our team, together with current management, will be working earnestly to develop a business plan that lays down the foundation for a strong and profitable upi. they all have my authority to ask questions and to listen to what you have to say to ensure the best ideas are heard and addressed. i need you to support their efforts to make this endeavor a success. the business plan we create will not be encased in concrete. it will be a "living document." we expect to strengthen and refine it as we build the business. that will be our overall approach to upi's business, to refine it continually and make it better over time. other news: i have been reviewing all the company's outstanding obligations, and the payment of past due employee expenses is high on the list. initially, we are building on a 30-day budget to identify all our obligations in march. on top of the list, we are aiming to bring past due medical reimbursements up to date. rumor mufflings: latest rumor is that "the new management plans to shut down the photo department." the truth is that we are not really sure what photo costs to operate or precisely how much revenue it earns yet. so, that rumor is false. (by the way, we do expect to know within several weeks what all the company's main products cost to produce and how much revenue they earn.) reporting rumors is a dubious practice, so that one will be the last one you'll hear from me. but if you have questions about what is happening: address them to me on the record or anonymously -- if that's easier -- and i'll answer them here. apologies to the latin american unipressers who read a message in spanish thursday, the 25th, on the wire that said: "on request from the new management, we need a nominal list of each employee with the indemnities that the company should have paid them if they had been dismissed on february 19th." the intention of that unartfully worded memo was to find out precisely the extent of the company's liabilities as of the date of the transfer of control., february 19th. that information is needed to evaluate properly the company's value and to complete its balance sheet. that directive is required merely to ascertain a financial question. it does not reflect any plan or intention to dismiss all the company's employees in latin america (or anywhere else). and, so it goes. cheers, pms upi 02-26-88 10:57 acs