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 AJR  The Beat

From AJR,   March 1999  issue

No Sleep Needed   

Insomniac Arnaud de Borchgrave heads up UPI.


By Lori Robertson
Lori Robertson (robertson.lori@gmail.com), a former AJR managing editor, is a senior contributing writer for the magazine.      


Luckily for Arnaud de Borchgrave , the man only needs four hours of sleep a night. He'll need all those waking hours to direct perpetually troubled United Press International as its new president and CEO; retain his senior adviser position at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a D.C. think tank; and continue to consult for the paper he edited for six years, the Washington Times . De Borchgrave first worked at UP, as it was called in 1946, as a telex operator and later replaced Walter Cronkite as its Brussels bureau chief. He says he thought since he had started there, he'd take on ``the challenge of turning this agency around and making it relevant for the next century." The 72-year-old workaholic does have a job on his hands: UPI has lost $120 million since 1992. De Borchgrave, who spent 30 years at Newsweek, 17 of them as chief foreign correspondent, aims to take UPI ``out of the AP, Reuters , Bloomberg arena" and cover stories being ignored by the rest of the news media, he says. ``An unbelievable amount of stories are not being reported," he adds. The media are ``fixated on trivia these days, to the detriment of substance."