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Posts Tagged ‘John Solomon’

The Washington Times Debuts Online Redesign

The Washington Times over the weekend launched a new website designed with mobile readers and social media users in mind.

The new features are in response to reader recommendations and include a less crowded format better suited for different sized devices and easier sharing methods.

“With this ground-breaking redesign, we’ve launched a new era in the storied history of The Washington Times,” said Times president and CEP Larry Beasley. “Our readers have told us they wanted more social media opportunities, more visual engagement, more news video content and the ability to personalize their news experience. We have done our best to provide all of those things.”

John Solomon, editor and VP for content and business development added, “The Web site responds to many requests from readers and advertisers who wanted more options online…We’re confident readers will see lots of value in our new site and would love to hear directly from them how we can continue to improve and expand in the months ahead. For that reason, there’s a feedback button on each webpage.”

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Monica Crowley Named Online Opinion Editor of The Washington Times

6_162014_crowley-mheadshot8201_s640x664The Washington Times yesterday named FOX News contributor Monica Crowley as its online opinion editor. In this role, she will oversee all online opinion content and will write original content for The Times. She’s slated to start Monday, June 23.

John Solomon, editor and VP of content and business development at The Times said, “Monica is the quintessential 21st century thought leader, able to communicate her conservative values in all mediums in the most cogent way.”

In 2002, she began hosting “The Monica Crowley Show” on WABC Radio in New York, and in 2006, the program became nationally syndicated. She served as a foreign policy assistant to former President Richard Nixon from 1990 until his death in 1994. She is the author of four books including In What the (Bleep) Just Happened…Again?, Nixon Off the Record, and Nixon in Winter.

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TWT Launches Magazine for Black Conservatives

Well they’re just gunna try a little bit of everything over at The Washington Times, aren’t they?

Today the paper announced they will launch a magazine for black conservatives, the American CurrentSee. (We guess that’s a pun?) Ben Carson -the neurosurgeon  whose jeremiad against political correctness and healthcare reform at the National Prayer Breakfast last year made him famous in conservative circles -will be the publisher of the new digital weekly. Conservative columnist and radio host  Armstrong Williams will serve as executive editor. Fox News’ Juan Williams will also contribute to the first issue, which comes out March 30th.

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David Eldridge Leaves TWT for Roll Call

In a letter to staff, Roll Call editor-in-chief Christina Bellantoni announced yesterday the hiring of David Eldridge away from The Washington Times, where he had been assistant editor on the politics desk.* She also announced several promotions and newsroom re-organizations.

Eldridge, who starts his new gig on March 31st, will now serve as Roll Call‘s House editor. He will work with Emma Dumain, Dan Newhouser, and Matt Fuller on the “218″ blog, and be their main point of contact for short and long-term projects. He comes to Roll Call amidst a transition for the paper. Bellantoni herself started a mere 8 weeks ago, and a major re-org had already happened right before she arrived. That blueprint was augmented somewhat by the sudden departure of Peter Anthony last week, and now, with a flurry of promotions and the hiring of Eldridge, Bellantoni is attempting to right the ship.

Eldridge is leaving an arguably more troubled paper, also in the midst of major renovation. TWT Editor John Solomon has been trying to reinvent his conservative daily as a multimedia investigative enterprise since he was brought on last summer.

There were more adjustments and promotions announced yesterday as well, though they are a bit too numerous for us to regurgitate here. For more detail on the latest Roll Call re-org, check out Bellantoni’s letter to staff, after the jump.

*Update 2:49: This post previously said that David Eldridge was most recently the managing editor of TWT‘s website. That was inaccurate. Though he was once the managing editor of the website, he is now assistant editor on the politics desk. The current managing editor of the site is Ian Bishop.

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TWT Expands Stable of Conservative Voices with Addition of O’Donnell

In what appears to be an effort to staff their paper with outspoken conservative voices that appeal to a Tea Party audience, The Washington Times announced today that former Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell is being brought on as a columnist.

This follows the recent hirings of Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, defense hawk Cliff May, and radio hosts Tammy Bruce, Steve Deace, and Rusty Humphries. The spate of new hires also illustrates TWT Editor John Solomon‘s commitment to transforming the Times from a conventional paper into a multi-platform brand. In addition to her column, O’Donnell will serve as a commentator for TWT‘s nascent radio and video efforts. DeLay is also hosting an on-demand radio show, and Bruce, Deace, and Humphries will all contribute to online efforts as well as to the paper.

O’Donnell, of course, made a name for herself during her ultimately unsuccessful 2010 run for a Delaware Senate seat. She managed to defeat long-serving establishment Republican Rep. Mike Castle in the primary, but lost to Democrat Chris Coons in the general by a wide margin. She has since been a contributor on CNN and Fox News.


Tea Party Talker Rusty Humphries To Be Key Part of TWT Expansion

Rusty Humphries, a spokesman for the Tea Party Leadership Fund and a former conservative radio show host from Arizona, has been hired by The Washington Times. Humphries will have a significant role at TWT. He will be a weekly columnist, a blogger and a daily video show host.

Humphries’ appointment is part of Editor John Solomon‘s plan to transform The Washington Times from a conservative relic into a multi-platform juggernaut. The paper has also hired two other contributors in recent weeks. Cliff May will write a foreign affairs column, and Iowa radio host Steve Deace will pen an opinion column, as well as produce radio content for the paper.

Until it ended last October, Humphries’ radio show was the 6th most listened to show in the country, according to Talkers Magazine. He is also a singer/songwriter and creator of the song “Do the Bart Simpson” -yes really. His albums include Bomb Iraq: Rusty Humphries Takes On the Terrorists, and Thank Allah I’m a Jihad Boy.

Conservative Talkers Get Columns at TWT and The Hill

David Webb

David Webb

It’s a good day to be a conservative, syndicated radio show host. Both The Hill and The Washington Times announced today the addition of conservative radio personalities to their stable of opinion columnists.

David Webb‘s first column for The Hill starts running today and will alternate every Wednesday with a column from James Carville. Webb is a Fox News contributor, host of his own SiriusXM radio show, and a spokesman for the National Tea Party Federation.

And Steve Deace, a rising conservative voice in the Midwest, is joining TWT as a regular contributor to its opinion team. Deace, will contribute to a re-vamped Washington Times’ Communities portal, which is slated to launch later this month. Communities was temporarily shuttered last month following a spate of incidents involving inaccurate reporting. Deace will also provide TWT readers with regular updates about the early stages of the 2016 presidential caucuses in his home state of Iowa, and there are plans to distribute his nationally-syndicated program to TWT audience later this spring.

Steve Deace

Steve Deace

Both hires come as several DC pubs attempt to diversify the platforms across which they distribute content. The Hill has started producing web videos to accompany much of their online content, for example. And TWT Editor John Solomon recently initiated a re-org at that paper which, among other changes, replaced their traditional Copy Desk with a “platform agnostic” Universal Desk. Moreover, tapping into the large talk-radio audience is smart business for an industry that’s seeing print circulation drop year after year.

Solomon: TWT Axed ‘Communities’ Because of False Story, Lax Editing

The Washington Times Editor John Solomon has told FishbowlDC that his paper split with Communities Digital News, the company that managed and edited the “Washington Times Communities” social journalism page, because of its history of inaccurate reporting.

After a handful of instances, some pre-dating Solomon’s arrival, in which there were questions of accuracy about certain posts, the last straw was an erroneous story posted to the “Communities” page by contributor Michael Lotfi on January 9th.  In that story, Lotfi reported that Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) voted in the 2012 Democratic primary. This was, in fact, false, and the story was eventually disproved by local officials in Tennessee and by Alexander’s staff.

TWT eventually took it off the website and replaced it with a correction saying that the false information had been “based on a document provided by a third-party data aggregator,” and that “Washington Times Communities has not been able to independently verify the document.”

“The basic p’s and q’s of journalism had not been followed” with regard to that story, Solomon told us. “The author hadn’t checked the authenticity of the document on his own or sought out fair comment.”

That led him to “put a pause” on the “Communities” page’s activities as he conducted a review of the relationship with Communities Digital News. That review found that oversights in the reporting had not been caught in the editing process, and that even after the accuracy problems were identified, the proper steps weren’t taken to correct the record.

“That is what concerned us. We wanted to protect the integrity of the journalism process. So we decided to bring the editing in house,” Solomon said. “We don’t want inaccurate posts on our website -even from outsiders -especially if it could have been prevented before hand.”

But Communities Digital News Editor Jacquie Kubin, who officially launched a new stand-alone site on January 13th, says the breakup with TWT was in the works before the Lotfi story ever ran.

“The story was unrelated to our continuing relationship with the Times,” she told us in an email. “Communities Digital News, LLC had been discussing the business relationship with the Times for some time.”

Solomon pushed back on that idea.

“Any suggestion that it had to do with negotiations, compensation, is dispositively false,” he said. “It was really a matter of journalism integrity.”

Solomon says that plans are on track to re-launch the “Washington Times Communities” page in the next few weeks -this time with new contributors who will be edited directly by TWT staffers.


Editors note: This post was updated Feb 8th at 12:44 PM to more clearly reflect comments made to FishbowlDC by John Solomon.

Tammy Bruce to be Featured Columnist for Wash Times

Nationally-syndicated conservative talk show host and author Tammy Bruce will be penning an exclusive weekly column for The Washington Times, the Times announced today. Ms. Bruce is self-described as a “gay, gun-owning, pro-death penalty, Independent conservative.” She plans to spark a new and lively debate on current events which, she promised, will “astound the way the establishment thinks.”

“Ms. Bruce brings a unique depth to our stable of opinion columnists. I’m certain that Tammy will live up to The Washington Times prevailing principle to challenge conventional wisdom and bring a fresh take on current events. The Washington Times is delighted to be working with her,” said John Solomon, Wash Times Editor and VP of Content and Business Development.

Ms. Bruce is a well known advocate for both free speech and Second Amendment rights. Her positions on these issues were established in part from her experience as a radio talk show host. The “Tammy Bruce Show” premiered in 1993 in LA and was nationally syndicated in 2005, reaching more than 200 affiliates. In an effort to gain more freedom over her program, Ms. Bruce took her radio show independent in 2009. It is now exclusively available online and via podcast. Tammy Radio is one of the Top 5 radio programs on the worldwide internet radio hub TalkStreamLive.

‘Washington Times Communities’ In Crisis

The Washington Times is dumping its “Communities” page, causing “Communities” editor Jacquie Kubin to start a mad dash to move all the content located there to a new site. In emails to “Communities” contributors obtained by FishbowlDC, a frantic Kubin details her fraught relationship with TWT and her efforts to wrest control of the “Communities” content away from the paper.

“The Chines [sic] symbols for crisis are ‘danger” and “opportunity,’” Kubin says in one email. “Working with TWT has always been a challenge.  They are a client, but have always felt they were a parent.  Things are changing: What we have in front of us is opportunity. And I like opportunity.”

The “Washington Times Communities” page is a collaboration between TWT and a company started by Kubin in 2009 called Communities Digital News. The result is a platform designed to allow citizen-journalists to write columns on a wide range of issues hosted at The Washington Times website. “Communities” columns are not actually edited by TWT staff, but rather by Kubin herself, who has a contractual relationship with TWT.

That relationship, however, is changing -though it is unclear what is actually happening. On January 10th, Kubin seemed to think that TWT was going to maintain connections with Communities Digital News, though she insinuates that trouble is brewing:

TWT, as they always have, is trying to dictate our business and business model.   Will we be severing ties?  No.  Will who and what we are at TWT change.  Yes.

But two days later, on January 12, the situation was already spiraling out of control:

The following information is not for dissemination or sharing with any other person and is intended only for the recipiet [sic] Things are changing quickly… And though I am trying to salvage what I may, lets be prepared for a worst case scenario Please go to Communities ( and make sure you take screen shots of any stories that you wish to keep copies of… Please do not correspond with editors, or me, via the communities email addresses.  Please use addresses as listed above. We are moving to our own website; and this is good.  TWT now takes 60-75% of ever dollar we make.  That in and of itself is good reason to move.

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