The Southern Unipresser (1969)

(Editor's Note: This material was provided by Unipresser Royal Brightbill, who is now with the Mobile Register)


THE SOUTHERN UNIPRESSER for Southern Division Staffers of United Press International - October 1969 - Edited by Lewis Lord)


Here arrives the Southern Unipresser, expected to be recognized as a periodical once a second copy is produced. This is your publication--for you and about you and, when contributions arrive, by you.

The SU is designed to keep all the Unipressers in the Southern Division abreast of what's happening in the Division. Accomplishments and miscues will be noted. Sermons will be held to a minimum but suggestions will abound, hopefully from the bureaus as well as from this southwest corner of the AJ newsroom.

SU welcomes information about is readers. It will spread the word on unusual personal experiences, honors, marriages, births, divorces--anything concerning its readers of interest to other reads. Contributions are welcomed, as long as there's no postage due.


Bill Tome, formerly AJ newsman and Alabama manager, from Regional Executive in RA to AJ Bureau Manager, succeeding Don Phillips, now on to WA staff. John Skalko, TA pictures, to RA Pictures Manager, succeeding Jack Belich, transferring to AJ as Division Newspictures Manager, succeeding Bill Lyon, who goes to NX soon as General Newspictures Manager.

Jack Wilkinson, assistant sports editor in NXS, earlier at KO, to AJ General Desk & SU Chief Cartoonist Slot. Steve Huntley, former GS manager with experience in CA, AJ, TP & JX, to National Broadcast Desk in HX. Phil Hearn, former JK Clarion-Ledger newsman who broke in with UPI at JK, now back at JK after stint in BX. Roy Brightbill, journalism grad from LSU now on RA news staff. (The RA bureau could become a Berlitz classroom; Roy speaks Chinese Mandarin and fellow staffer Guy Olson is fluent in Persian.) Tom Fazio from MH to RA as state broadcast editor.

Darrell Powell ex-AG operator, now Chief Operator in AJ. Clyde Forrester, former RA operator and N.C. Fisherman, now AJ operator and Georgia Fisherman. Tom Dugo, formerly of WA, NX, PS (which he calls home) and CW, to AJ Operator staff from WA. Paul Bradley, Kansas City, joins UPI as operator in AJ.

Les Kjos (say Chose), former DX, now member of MH staff along with Paul Ashdown, graduate of University of Florida J-School, and Cindy Blumenfeld, journalism department. Bill Cotterell, a Floridian who broke in at CA with stints at RA & BX, transferred from CA to TA.

Nancy Bentson, University of Colorado J-grad, from RA relief to RA permanent, replacing Rip Slusser, transferred to NX. Tom Lawrence, ex AJ, now parttimer at NV while attending Vanderbilt Law School. Ray Reed, ex-RV parttimer, now RV fulltimer. Jerry Mitchell, Georgia State J-grad, from CA relief to CA permanent.

Frank Frosch, VMI and Univ of Georgia grad to AJ news staff after Vietnam combat tour. Edward Thrash of Atlanta to AJ copy boy. Jo Ann Hitman from NE to AJ, where she weekly receives and reads a Russian newspaper (Her NE replacement: Laura Foreman, who had been a thorn in our side as a reporter for Atlanta AP). Marcie Rasmussen, wandering girl reporter, back in AJ after legislative stint in TA and few weeks in Europe.


There were dozens of good enterprise stories across the Division in recent weeks. We need more.

Charlie (JX) Aldinger got fine play with a set of interviews of Florida's death row... Nancy (RA) Bentson described the problems the people of Ocracoke Island have in running an aged wooden schoolhouse...Lawrence (BX) Falk produced a World Horizoner on Big Jim Folsom, who says he is running for governor because he needs the money...Ed (WA) Rogers explained how Georgia Congressman Jack Flynt, once a Hawk, decided it's time to get out of Vietnam...Barry (MI) Parker's look at a Pensacola beach reclamation project was welcomed by many editors...Jeff (RV) Reynolds reported a new campus trend: college cafeterias across Virginia are dispensing beer...Stan (MH) Brown summed up for Horizons the controversy over construction of a jetport in the Everglades...Bill (CA) Starr detailed a stop at a cabin on South Carolina's highest mountain where folks refuse to believe man visited the moon...

Carl (KI) Vines got two Science Today columns for the AAA out of a visit to the AEC lab at Oak Ridge, Tenn....Glenn (CG) Stephens analyzed the needs of the state boys vocational school...Bob (CA) Gordon reported in a Sunday piece for the AAA that Ralph Abernathy's summer in Charleston took the SCLC back to the "good old days."...Dick (RA) Hatch detailed the controversy at Chapel Hill over what voice students will have in regulating campus disorders...Terry (CT) Wooten found black students returning to North Carolina AT&T still bitter over last spring's bloody riot...Mike (NV) Willard reported everyone in Tennessee seems to want tax reform-for everyone else...Jim (NV) Lewis came through with an anniversary piece on a subject of sure-fire Southern interest, the Grand Ole Opry...Bessie (MG) Ford interviewed a legislator ousted for bribe seeking and got a human interest story placed well across Alabama...

Dave (MH) Langford summed up the competition the MH resort business is getting from Freeport gambling casinos...Paul (MH) Ashdown drew fine use with a story on a consumer ordinance and hotline protecting the buying public...From Tallahassee, Barbara Frye captured lots of space with an in-depth piece on legislators' expense allowances, a backgrounder on Claude Kirk's controversial "Governor's Club," and a profile on a $1-a-year governor's aid...Bill Cotterell reported an experiment by white and black universities at TA to share the facilities and a therapy session at Florida's halfway house for delinquent boys...And Dave Schultz profiled Florida's new beverage director and reported on a plan to let the governor's wife fly on state planes.

The AJ staff had a fine run of HFRs. Chuck Taylor had three good science pieces, one on what dreams "look like," another on the use of hypnosis in treatment of diseases, and still another, printed by the NX Times, on this winter's flu outlook. In the non scientific field he reported on the future of AJ's controversial hippie settlement. Frank Frosch was on target with military copy, including two exclusives on letters written by a Green Beret and a Sunday piece on the use of dogs to sniff out pot at military bases. JoAnn Hitman got good play with a report on a woman geochemist who will lead a team into the Antarctic and again on a piece describing the distribution of kidneys by computers. Ken Cazalas, getting responses from across the Division, reported that a variety of programs helped keep the South calm this summer.

Also from AJ: Marcie Rasmussen's reports on parochial school financial problems, the Georgia private school situation ("All you need to start a private school in Georgia," she wrote, "is a teacher and a pupil and two exits in case of fire.") and a Sunday piece on the Atlanta mayor's race. Wayne Knight reported many war widows in Georgia were unaware of benefits available to them. Charlie Webb disclosed that a Supreme Court decision may provide back pay and restoration of rank to a Fort Gordon Army captain court-martialed for sex crimes. Tom Greer told of a rural school system with too many pupils, HEW pressures and no money.


MH was 12-4 in Thursday PMs on the hijack of a jetliner from Charleston to Havana. "We had detail they couldn't touch with a pole," noted NX. Dave Langford was the man on the scene.

We did well in North Carolina two-service papers on the Winston-Salem armory explosion but fared 2-9 and 2-6 nationally.

MH had nothing on the AM cycle on a love-in at a police convention and we were blanked 0-5. CA took its lumps on the Parris Island Marine death for two cycles before coming back 10-2 on the third-go-around. MH provided good detail that gave us the Florida Panhandle floods 22-2 in two AM cycles.

MH quickly and aggressively got on the narcotics arrests of missile crew members for a 13-1 reading.


"The last few days have been an onite man's dream," AJ Onite Manager Buddy Hendrick recently reported. "The bureaus have offered a number of well written light readers that spiced up the onite report." Buddy made particularly good use of Ed (RV) McHale's yarn on the Virginia Rooster Crowing Contest. Dave Langford's report on the South Florida snail threat, and Charlie Aldinger's piece on the blind barmaid, a devout Catholic who measures a jigger by repeating a Doxology. We can't get enough of these bright offerings.


TEASERS: Let's bury once and for all the broadcast wire teaser headline. A typical teaser: "A Greenville dentist has died in a flaming two-car wreck near Mossburg." There may be 200 dentist in Greenville with friends and relatives numbering 200,000. Any of the 200,000 who hear the item will want to know the victim's name. We should provide--in the headline. We get lots of complaints about this.

HOME FOR RV: The Richmond bureau, until recently in a condemned hotel, now is quartered in one of the city's more comfortable structures, the 7th & Franklin Building, overlooking the state capitol and Robert E. Lee's post-war home.

ADDRESSES PLEASE: When reporting an accidental death involving someone from a large city in another state please seek the street address.

PLAYERS: If a college football player in your state performs exceptionally well some Saturday, don't be surprised to get a call from Dave Moffit the following Monday morning asking for an interesting featurized "Southeast Offensive (of Defensive) Player of the Week" story. Do gear yourself to do a fine job on it. These stories, when handled properly, have received excellent play. Proper handling requires good fresh quotes and at least a little information not previously disclosed.

WORLD HORIZONS: We need more for it. Every bureau should provide at least one good feature a month worthy of the World Horizons package. WH, comprised of a long run of excellent features, moves on the AAA each Sunday morning for use the following Sunday. Copy for it should be mailed to LL/AJ. We're looking for well-written, well-angled copy in the 600-800-word packing coast-to-coast interest. We'll get it played back on regional wires so you can see it used close to home.

SCORES: As in the past, we need final scores of all college football games played in the South, ranging from Georgia-Florida to Grambling-Alcorn. Scores should be messaged to AJ as soon as they arrive, and AJ will relay them quickly to NXS & UPR/HX.

STOCK CARS: Lonnie Falk was hours ahead of AP on the biggest stock car racing story of the year, the drivers' strike at Talladega, Ala. AP's fulltime racing writer was assigned to the race. We've trimmed the co-op on several superspeedway developments across the South by displaying hustle and enterprise.


UN-1, the national sports wire, recently was cleared of horse racing tabs. This provided room for plenty of good sports features and enterprisers.

The Division produced a fine sports report in recent weeks. Much of it was material Dave Moffit, Rabun Matthews and Jack Wilkinson wrote on the Braves and their bid for the pennant.

Charlie Aldinger provided interesting situationers on the Florida football team Barry Parker scored with an interview of the coach who recalled the days Cleon Jones and Tommy Agee--the two Mets stars--were teammates on his Mobile prep team. The BX P-H 8-columned that one.

The abundance of good football teams in the South should provide us plenty of opportunities for top-drawer sports stories. There always has been a big demand for such copy. The changes on UN-1 will permit us to supply it, if we go after it.

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