Larry Beasley, a former St. Petersburg Times and Los Angeles Daily News executive, has been appointed to that position. According to a source close to the board, this is the first time in the 30-year history of the Times that the editor running day-to-day operations is not a member of the Unification Church, which owns the paper.
Requests for comment from multiple members of the executive staff of the Washington Times were not immediately returned.
But questions about the future of the paper have been floating around since the September death of powerful Unification Church founder Rev. Sun Myung Moon, a self-proclaimed messiah and globally successful businessman. The Times has long been perceived as the centerpiece of the church, with long-time Moon-watcher Larry Zilliox telling Whispers recently that Moon showed off the paper to various world leaders.
But it was also a costly endeavor. Back in 1991, Moon said the church had already spent nearly a billion dollars to support the paper. More recent reports about the paper's profitability, including from Talking Points Memo in 2009 and Politico in 2011, are mixed.
While surviving Moon family members have taken over the leadership of the church, the source tells Whispers that the Times' board realized independent leadership, not another church member, was needed to keep the Times afloat. Thomas McDevitt, a Unification Church member who had been running the day-to-day operations at the paper, has now been moved into Joo's chairman role.
An editor in the newsroom, who did not want to be named, told Whispers the change in leadership could "only be a good thing."
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