Texas 1989 Outlook



(This is a Jan. 25, 1989, memo via the message wire to Texas staffers from state editor Phil Magers (who still works for UPI out of his Dallas home) on the outlook/plans for 1989):


Texas staffers:

We have coverage guidelines and a 1989 Texas budget in hand so I thought a status report might be in order. Also, I think we all need a little guidance now on our direction in Texas. I hope this points you in the right direction.

THE FINANCIAL PICTURE

As the new year begins we have 17 newspaper accounts (some non-media) and 70 broadcast accounts. Projected annual revenues from there clients are about $800,000 from newspapers and $1.3 million from broadcasters.

Our editorial budget for Texas is nearly $800,000, about $700,000 going for salaries (the $800,000 does not include spending for communications and marketing in Texas). Our proposed travel budget for Texas was slashed so we're going to proceed cautiously at least early in the year on travel requests. Unless it's breaking news, it probably won't get approved until we get a handle on how spending is going.

BROADCAST TOP PRIORITY

It's doesn't take a genius to see where our bread and butter is. We will sink or swim in Texas on how well we serve our broadcast clients. I kow there are still some of you who look down your nose at doing broadcast copy. If we are to keep this $1.3 million in broadcast business, this has got to change.

As always, the first priority on any story is to get it on the broadcast wire as accurately and quickly as possible. Please don't hesitate to file urgents if the story warrants. There also must be a separate story or takeout to match every headline we move. You can't just mention a story in a headline and forget it. This is the prime complaint of our broadcasters right now (Dallas and Houston do the headlines). Also, please put any major broadcast stories to xra, the national radio desk in Chicago.

COVERAGE GOALS

The coverage plan for Texas, based on information put together in Dallas and reviewed in Washington, calls for us to continue much of what we have been doing. In no particular order, it calls for coverage of state news, giving priority to broadcast copy, a comprehensive daybook (we need contributions from all bureaus), high school and college sports, and features.

I know with fewer newspaper clients the necessity for features seems less than a few years ago. We do have less chance of seeing our copy in Texas, but we have to keep bearing down. The (now-defunct San Antonio) Light still uses our features as well as the Tyler Courier-Times-Telegraph and smaller papers. The features also get radioized for weekend use for our 70 broadcast clients. They also get more national play now. WA is still going to move a feature package, and with fewer WA staffers I think they will depend on us more. This has been apparent the last few weeks.

BUSINESS ANOTHER TOP PRIORITY

Another important priority is business copy. On Feb. 6, we are scheduled to begin the Southwest Regional Business News Report. Selling this product is a high priority right now in marketing. The Dallas Morning News will be taking it on a trial basis and probably other Texas newspapers. This may be the way to get back into some of these have-nots. It also will be sold to non-media prospects. RBN may duplicate copy that moves on our financial wire (nff), but for clients which do not have nff the RBN will be something new and hopefully impressive.

As you may have read in Wieck's message of 1-15, each region will be required to file at least three biz briefs and two people items (appointments of new corporate officers, etc.) daily for the report to xba (the new abstract for RBN). Austin needs to especially hawk state government copy for news of business interest, e.g. taxes. Business writers, like Hari, will be expected to file at least two spot stories a day, and one feature per week. Hari will be coordinating this effort in our region and will, of course, appreciate any help you can give him. The output file for our effort will be drb.

In conclusion, keep on doing what you've been doing but don't forget to push that story out on broadcast first and don't forget business copy for the Regional Business News Report. If you have any questions, let me know.

Best regards, Magers

UPI 01-25-89 10:19 ACS