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Washington Times Executive Shake-up: Big Changes After Sun Myung Moon Death

The Washington Times, the paper founded by the Unification Church, is seeing major changes in its top business and editorial ranks

The Washington Times' new CEO Larry Beasley announced sweeping changes on Tuesday to the paper's top management, just over a month after founder Sun Myung Moon died.

via Wikimedia Commons / KeraunoscopiaExecutive Editor Ed Kelley is leaving  and chairman Douglas Joo resigned, prompting President Tom McDevitt's promotion to chairman of the board.

Beasley, a former Los Angeles Daily News and St. Petersburg Times executive hired as president and CEO this week, announced the formation of "a new senior leadership team." The team will include Chief Operating Officer John Martin, Chief Financial Officer Keith Cooperrider and Chief Revenue and Marketing Officer Tom Culligan.

Also read: Sun Myung Moon, Unification Church Leader and Washington Times Founder, Dies

But Joo, who unlike McDevitt is a member of the Unification Church, which now owns a minority share of the newspaper, is taking "new assignments" in South Korea, the spiritual center of the religious movement. Moon, an international media mogul, was the self-proclaimed messiah of that religious group.

And Kelley, a veteran journalist from the Oklahoman in Oklahoma City, is departing after just a year as top editor.

"As part of these changes, Ed Kelley is stepping down to pursue other opportunities, and we have already begun a search for a new executive editor," Beasley wrote in the memo. "I expect to name a replacement shortly. When that happens, I will be asking the new executive editor and Brett Decker [the paper's managing editor] to join an expanded leadership team, recognizing that news and opinion are the double-barreled engines that drive our audience each day."

The future of the newspaper has been unclear since Moon died in early September at 92.

Two years ago, Moon and a group of executives at the paper purchased it from News World Communications, the church's international media division, as it continued to lose money and slash staff.