*'Mixed Feelings' on New PMG Rumors

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ATLANTIC CITY, NJ--According to mailing industry executives and USPS partners at Mailcom '98, the mail communication management conference, choosing Michael S. Coughlin to be the new postmaster general has both benefits and flaws.


While it's still only rumors that Coughlin has been selected to succeed Marvin Runyon, many talked openly about the issue here April 29. Some said that by tapping Coughlin, Runyon's legacy will live on.


"I think Runyon did a great job -- and by staying in house, all the work Runyon did will stay put," said Robert B. Swick, vice president of data services at Anchor Computers, New York. "If Coughlin is picked, it's no surprise."


Others said the postal service should go outside.


"I thought going outside with Runyon was a brilliant move. Bringing someone from the outside into the postal service gives it a new perspective," said Raymond F. Melissa, president of Mailer's Software, San Clemente, CA.


However, the big question on everyone's mind is how a new postmaster general will affect postal rate classification implementation. While the Postal Rate Commission makes the decision, it's up to the Board of Governors -- and the postmaster general -- to decide on implementation dates.


Addressing this issue, John Ward, vice president of marketing systems at USPS, told the crowd here that the USPS' new leader "will play a big part in deciding implementation dates," but he did not offer any more information.
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