Planet News – a brief history


above: Mike at the Picture Editors’ Guild Awards 2012 – by PPHP

From reader Mike Conway – currently a photo editor at EPA – writes:
It was started in the early 1900s by a man called Wallenstein (spelling cud be off). Like many of the picture agencies of the time (and fleet street had more than half a dozen ) it was a breeding ground for some famous photographers. At the height of the newspicture business in 1930s Planet News made a reciprocal arrangement with the New York based Acme Newspicture company that later became part of the United Press (later UPI). Planet carried on as Planet during and after the second world war until 1958 when UP made a take over of the INP (International News Photo Agency) which was part of the Hearst empire. This then became UPI.

UPI bought a controlling share in Planet around 1966 – killing off the Planet name

Herbert andy Andrews was chief photographer for Planet up until the early 60s (see photo below) He made several iconic pictures including Capt Nielsen waving from the deck of the sinking Flying Enterprise in 1952, the departure of Queen Elizsabeth from Westminster Abbey at the Coronation in 1953. He was first to arrive at the Lymouth floods in Devon in 1952. During world war II he was attached for a time in the US forces as a war correspondent. In the late 1930s he was present at a couple of rallies in Germany.

He died in the early70s, tragically taking his own life.

FYI PLANET’S EARLY DAYS WERE spent in the old Dr. Johnson’s House in Gough Square, one of the many courts of Fleet Street. (that was also central press photos location).

About Mike:
after Express news I went to press association photos, then central press photos, then upi, back to central press for a couple years before returning to UPI, was transferred to Frankfurt. After a break of 9 years i worked for Reuters before finally ending at the european pressphoto agency (epa) I officially retired on 30 april (2012) but continue to work at epa on part time basis.

Read related Planet News articles on this site

UPDATED: John Balean at photo library Topfoto sent us this:

Herbert andy Andrews was chief photographer for Planet up until the early 60s
Hi Will:

Re: Planet News – attached is a picture of Herbert Andrews (1961) and you can also add that TopFoto purchased UPI London and now holds Planet News , INP , UPI negatives to 1970.

Happy New Year

John.