- The Washington Times - Friday, May 16, 2003

United Press International said yesterday it is restructuring its editorial and business operations to focus on new and growing global markets, and would be laying off 16 of its editorial staff.

The company said it would concentrate on its main products: commentary, news analysis and in-depth news reports, and news-brief packages tailored for wireless devices, digital kiosks, television and Web sites.

Those employees affected received four weeks’ notice individually yesterday and were provided with job-placement services.

Some details of the layoffs were still under negotiation with the Wire Service Guild, which told the UPI staff about the layoffs Wednesday after meeting with the company.

Staff voted last year for union representation, and a contract with the Guild is in negotiation.

“This repositioning will enable UPI to focus its strongest journalism on its strongest market opportunities,” said Editor in Chief John O’Sullivan, former editor of National Review who came to UPI in 2000.

“I am only sorry that it has had to be accompanied by the loss of so many able, loyal and hard-working colleagues. I wish them well.”

The company, founded in 1907, lost money steadily for years as a general news service under five previous owners before it was bought in 2000 by News World Communications Inc., which also publishes The Washington Times.

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