'UPI Expects Profit in 1989'



Here's a Jan. 12, 1989, story from The Wall Street Journal:

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United Press International said its operating loss narrowed to $16 million last year from $25 million in 1987.

The struggling news service, reitarating that it expects to become profitable sometime this year, also announced the elimination of 40 editorial jobs. But UPI said it expected to hire a like number of reporters this year for its new regional financial news wire.

A spokesman for the Wire Service Guild, the union that represents more than 500 UPI editorial employees, said yesterday that the latest job cutbacks affected 20 employees in the U.S., mostly in the newsfeatures department, and another 20 overseas.

UPI attributed nearly a third of last year's losses to the expenses of covering the presidential election and the Olympics, and to severance payments associated with the 150 jobs it eliminated in 1988. Last March, the news service said it was losing $2 million a month -- a figure that has now narrowed to about $500,000 a month, according to a UPI spokesman.

"The loss of clients, which was steep in 1987, has gotten to an acceptable level," the spokesman added. UPI also said it is reorganizing its world-wide news operations and had named Bill Ferguson, former managing editor of national news, to the new position of managing editor, UPI News.

Last February, an investor group headed by Earl W. Brian, the chairman of Financial News Network, acquired operating control of UPI from Mexican publisher Mario Vasquez Rana. Mr. Brian has said he will use UPI as a springboard for a variety of data-base information services, while continuing to operate the unprofitable news service.

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