By: Debra Gersh
Managers named to exec committee, regional bureaus
AFTER THE ASSETS of United Press International were acquired by the London-based Middle East Broadcasting Centre (MBC) in June 1992, the new owners put in place an executive management committee to oversee operations at the wire service.
Since then, the committee has expanded, a new chief executive officer has been named, and regional managers and editors are being appointed. Executive committee chairman Abdulah H. Masri is a director of UPI and executive director of both MBC and UPI’s parent company, Worldwide News. Based in London, where he also serves as a director of an investment group, the U.S.- trained Saudi Arabian archeology, and was the principal architect of his country’s museum systems.
Other executive management committee members include:
*New appointed CEO L. Brewster Jackson, who has held a variety of management positions for organizations including the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Pulitzer Publishing Co., Reuters Information Services, Visnews International, Pressnet Systems Inc. and the Healthcare Satellite Broadcasting Company.
* Jean AbiNader, a consultant who until recently was president of the U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce and head of an organization called Transnational, a Washington-based firm doing public and government relations and business counseling.
* Eton G. Fun-on, deputy chief executive of MBC and a vice president of UPI.
*John R. Hayes, a UPI vice president who retired in 1992 from Mobil Oil Corp., where he spent 20 years in public affairs, principally in the Middle East.
*The executive committee was formed to guide the agency at a time when there was no CEO and many senior management positions were vacant, Hayes explained.
“At this point, we are an advisory group, and the CEO is a member of it.””
No decision has been made on the future of the executive management committee now that a VCEO has been named, Hayes said.
He added the company is “”still in the process of implementing the restructuring plan.””
As part of the restructuring, UPI has set up regional offices in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, Miami and Washington, D.C.
Heading each office is a general manager, who oversees news gathering, product development, client relations and sales for the region.
As E&P went to press, only one general manager had been named, veteran Unipresser Robert Kieckhefer in Chicago.
Each region will have a regional editor as well as sales executives and business managers.
The regional editors are:
* New York: Harold “”Skip”” Martin, who joined UPI in Atlanta in 1956 and became a full-time staffer in London in 1963. Most recently, he served as regional editor based in Philadelphia.
* Chicago: Marcy Kreiter, a 20-year Unipresser, who most recently was a regional editor in Chicago, and who has worked in management positions in the Chicago office. She joined UPI in 1973 as a temporary newswriter in Grand Rapids, Mich.
* Los Angeles: Tony Gonsalves, who has managed news gathering in the Western states from Los Angeles for the past 17 months. He joined UPI 10 years ago after a stint at the San Diego Union.
* Dallas: Phil Magers, who joined the company in 1966 and was most recently regional editor in Dallas.
* Miami: Tobin Beck, who had been Southeast regional editor in Miami since 1991, and who worked Midwest bureaus since joining UPI in 1984 from the Sidney (Neb.) Telegraph.
* Washington D. C.: Robert A. Martin, who joined UPI in 1979 in California after working at papers in Santa Rosa and Alameda. He was based in London until January 1993, when he was named managing editor.