Communications: Giving the Owners the Hook

Giving the Owners the Hook

In the nearly three years since Nashville Investors Douglas Ruhe and William Geissler acquired ailing United Press International from E.W. Scripps for $1, they have slashed costs, reduced staff and cut wages 25%. For a time, the medicine seemed to work. When U.P.I. announced a $1.1 million profit in the fourth quarter of 1984, its first gain in 23 years, the owners predicted profits of $6 million in 1985. That view was overly optimistic.

Last week, with payroll checks bouncing and losses again mounting, Ruhe and Geissler agreed to step aside as part of a deal to save the firm. Under...

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