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Teleguide's Problems

January 21, 1986|BILL RITTER

Last week's reorganization of San Diego Teleguide--the videotex service that has 108 tourist-oriented computer terminals throughout the county--didn't surprise visitor-industry sources.

With the tremendous start-up costs associated with computer graphics, profits figure to be elusive for some time, one local tourist official said.

The hoopla surrounding the reorganization--10 of the company's 37 staffers here were transferred to Teleguide's San Francisco headquarters and five were laid off--made a routine restructuring into a media event.

Mostly, that was the doing of Terry Brennan, the local head of Teleguide, who was given the ax as part of the reorganization.

By the time Teleguide was able to issue an innocuous press release describing the cutbacks as an attempt at centralization, Brennan had already called many reporters, offering his version of the restructuring and maintaining that their centralization strategy was a mistake.

The battle of personalities was far more lively than Teleguide's plans, tourist industry observers said.

The problem in numbers: Teleguide's collection of 108 terminals is far short of its predicted 150 by the end of 1985, and its goal of 300 by the end of this year will probably not be met, officials said.

Imperial's New Faces

Some executives tend to surround themselves with the familiar, and Imperial Corp. of America's President and Chief Executive Ken Thygerson seems to fit that mold.

Thygerson, who joined Imperial in September, was president and chief executive officer of the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., known informally as Freddie Mac.

Since then, Thygerson has hired four former Freddie Mac executives as top-level Imperial brass. They are Kevin Villani, former senior vice president for financial and economic analysis, as chief financial officer; Stephen Haines, former senior vice president of human resources and administration, as chief administrative officer; Gary Palmer, former director of corporate finance, as senior vice president of corporate finance, and Bruce Dunn, former manager of planning, as director of corporate planning.

Energy-Saving Walls

The new Ticor building at 10th Avenue and B Street in downtown San Diego is now complete. But that's not the real news.

The real news is that the six-story, 62,000-square-foot structure is the first downtown office building in San Diego to use the Dryvit system of "outsulation"--a combination of tinted glass and Dryvit, which is an energy-efficient exterior wall insulation.

The Dryvit system, invented in the 1940s, looks like stucco but can save 40% of typical energy and maintenance costs per year.

Other buildings in the county with the Dryvit system: Nordstrom at Horton Plaza and The Plaza office park near University Towne Centre.

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