Down to the Wire: Upi's Fight for Survival

Gregory Gordon, Author McGraw-Hill Companies $19.95 (429p) ISBN 978-0-07-023804-6
United Press International, usually considered America's second-tier wire service, was established in 1907 and had its greatest success in the '40s and '50s. But in the 1970s, this momentum was lost--and here former UPI staffers Gordon and Cohen open their thoughtful, instructive analysis of the company's decline. Sold by the founding Scripps family in 1982, UPI fell into the hands of Doug Ruhe and Bill Geisler, young entrepreneurs short on journalistic experience. These two, in the authors' view, hurt UPI by hiring expensive consultants and skimming off the scant profits. Forced out by dynamic president Luis Nogales, they sold to Mexican tycoon Mario Vazquez-Rana, who in turn tried to impose his autocratic style on employees. But Vazquez-Rana, too, ran into trouble, and the company was again sold; by the late 1980s UPI appears shakily viable. Photos not seen by PW. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
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