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Posts Tagged ‘Larry Beasley’

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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TWT Says Sayonara to COO

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The Washington Times hasn’t been a hotbed of stability in the last year or five. And on Thursday they said goodbye to their COO, John Martin. Sources tell FishbowlDC he was fired. He packed up and escorted himself out of the building with a box of his belongings. Security was not required to escort him out. Read more

TWT Names New Editorial Page Editor

After Brett Decker quit his job as TWT Editorial Page Editor in November 2012, the paper slid former controversial Editor Wes Pruden into the job. But just temporarily. True to their word, they’ve finally named a new editor to their opinion pages — it’s David Keene. He was appointed Sunday, according to a release distributed this morning. Previous editorial page editors included the now deceased Tony Blankley and Tony Snow.

Most recently, Keene stepped down as president of the National Rifle Association. He is also a former GOP presidential advisor to Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and candidates Bob Dole and Mitt Romney. He was also an aide to former Vice President to Richard Nixon, Spiro Agnew.

But for anyone who feared (or hoped) that Pruden might drift back into retirement, it just isn’t happening. “The Times also announced that Editor Emeritus Wesley Pruden, who came out of retirement to reorganize the opinion pages in January, will remain in a full-time capacity directing and producing editorials,” says the release. He will also continue writing his twice-weekly column.

See a few flowery quotes from TWT CEO Larry Beasley (a.k.a. Evil Santa)… Read more

TWT Gets Amnesia, Forgets Editor Already Returned

Whoever writes TWT‘s press releases must be fighting with the others tasked with writing TWT press releases. And if it’s the same person? Better get him or her a hypnotist and fast because memory appears to be a major problem here.

The first line of one of their three releases Monday states, “The Washington Times announced Monday that award-winning investigative journalist John Solomon is returning after a hiatus of more than 3½ years to oversee the newspaper’s content, digital and business strategies.”

Let’s edit this for facts, shall we? Read more

With TWT’s Executive Editor Out, Will John Solomon Finally Make The Masthead?

Back in January, after 25 members of TWT newsroom got laid off, John Solomon was named to the elusive role of Chief Digital Officer with Ian Bishop as his deputy in the position of Digital Editor. Bishop made the masthead. Solomon did not. What made matters even more peculiar, is that when Solomon made media appearances, on WTOP for example, they said he was from Washington Guardian, his other news outlet. No mention of TWT.

Even in May of 2013, TWT gave him a bizarre tagline that made no mention of TWT except to say he was a former executive editor there. Was he or wasn’t he working there? His daily doings always appeared to be mired in mystery, even to those on the inside.

Still, now Solomon is getting another boost. Today Larry Beasley, whose contract as President and CEO has been upped until the end of 2015, is promoting him again. At least it sure looks like a promotion — time will tell if they see fit to put him on the masthead. This time, he’s “Editor and Vice President for Content and Business Development.” What this all means is anyone’s guess, as was Solomon’s previous position at TWT. As hilariously explained by Beasley in a statement, this means Solomon is in charge of editorial and business and advertising, because those parts of a newspaper are always supposed to be smushed together as one. No conflict there.

What’s even weirder is that Beasley appears to have no recollection of Solomon’s brusque departure from TWT four years ago as Executive Editor and speaks about his time there as a fairytale dream (all together now: raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens…) Most former employees in high editorial posts say he was pushed out, forced to resign. He always insists otherwise.

Just as you think Beasley’s statement will end there, with four graphs and five bullet points inflating Solomon to be the best journalist who ever roamed the Earth (seriously), Beasley casually mentions that Executive Editor David Jackson is gone. HUH? “As part of the recent moves, we’ve said goodbye to some of colleagues, including our Executive Editor David Jackson,” he wrote three graphs from the bottom of the release, one of which throws in yet another compliment for Solomon. “We appreciate the effort he gave us and wish him well in his next endeavor.”

Bye bye Jackson!

See the release with our boldings… Read more

TWT in Discussion for More Layoffs

TWT CEO Larry Beasley (a.k.a. “Evil Santa”) and the gang of suits over off New York Avenue are contemplating another deep round of layoffs at the troubled newspaper. Sources say the next axe to fall may not be far off.

The reason: A TWT insider tells FishbowlDC that the publication is bleeding money. More specifically, management was told they had three years to get to zero subsidy from the parent company. Only six months are left on that timetable and TWT is still tens of millions away from breaking even. We’re told management is “cornered and desperate” and doesn’t have many cards to play.

Although Editor David Jackson promised in a Nov. 28 email to staff that impending “reductions in staffing will be a one-time-only process. We do not intend to go through this again” — a statement like in tough times isn’t necessarily full proof.
Plans had been discussed for further cuts later in 2013. Jackson was in those meetings.
This next possible round of cuts is…

TWT Head Honchos Struggle to Catch Leakers

Well, this is awkward.

The Washington Times management is putting thumb screws to the staff to get them to rat out the leakers to FishbowlDC. On the table for consideration: calling each staffer in one by one to ask if they have any knowledge of the leaking. As we already know, Chairman Tom McDevitt has been keeping staffers’ phone records under surveillance to see what calls are coming in and going out.

TWT‘s neverending bastion of bloated suits has, so far, refused to speak to FBDC for any of our coverage. One executive reached out but refused to speak on the record — that was more a lecturing kind of phone call. A teachable moment, some might say. “Don’t you just love a media company that has an absolutely strict policy against ever talking to the press ever?” asked a TWT insider.

The past few weeks has seen a rise in stories concerning The Washington Times as some 25 people were laid off on Friday. Last month, Executive Editor David Jackson warned that a restructuring was coming, but he left out key details — such as when and who. So staffers had to endure the holidays agonizing over whether they’d even have a job come the new year. To recap: Three days later, on Monday, TWT threw staff a newsroom party — oh boy! — and fed them sugary snacks (cookies, cakes and pies) to help ease the pain of an unstable newsroom filled with uncertainty. We’re told some remained at their desks out of loyalty to the departed. At the gabfest, they formally announced that John Solomon, the editor that left under angry circumstances in 2009, was returning full-time in addition to a plate-thrower named Ian Bishop (a real journalist with a favorable rep who comes to them by way of the New York Daily News.) Both men are assuming digital roles.

Here’s where things get strange….At the party, CEO Larry Beasley (a.k.a. “Evil Santa”), who drove up from Florida in his honking motorhome to take the job, joked that someone should… Read more

It’s Official: John Solomon Returns to TWT in Digital Role With Ian Bishop as Deputy

This just in…

As we hinted at earlier this morning, TWT has created two new digital positions: Chief Digital Officer and Digital Editor. Those positions will be held by former TWTer and currently a TWT consultant, John Solomon, and Ian Bishop, formerly of the New York Daily News.

As the release states, Solomon was formerly Executive Editor through 2009. But what they don’t say is as important as what they do, such as that he was pushed to resign, and let’s just say it wasn’t so he could spend more time with his family.

Nonetheless, a cheery quote from COO John Martin on his return. “John is a leading media innovator for creating new digital channels to expand the delivery of content and marketing communication. We are fortunate to have him back at The Times to focus on developing new products, new revenue streams, and new partnerships,” said Martin in a release.

In turn, Bishop will be Digital Editor. And in other surprising news, Editor Emeritus Wes Pruden, Editor-in-Chief until 2007, will be returning to oversee a restructuring of the editorial page and Commentary section. He will continue to write his twice-weekly column.

President and CEO Larry Beasley (a.k.a. “Evil Santa”) weighed in on Pruden. “Our readers know Wes for his witty political commentary, but he also has a keen sense of how to lift The Washington Times’ opinion pages to a higher level to provide intellectual leadership on such issues as free enterprise, strong defense, and traditional American values,” said Beasley in the release.

Of course, Beasley never mentions the dirty little secrets behind the real reasons why Pruden was allegedly forced into retirement. They involved allegations of racism and sexism in the organization under his management. For instance, Pruden once wrote in a TWT opinion piece that… Read more

Editor Trashes Bosses in Resignation Note

Former Deputy Editor of Op-Eds for The Washington Times Anneke Green quit just before Christmas. But before she did, she submitted what may go down in FishbowlDC history as the ballsiest resignation letter we’ve ever seen.

Green, a relatively mild-mannered low-key brunette, was previously a books editor for Regnery Publishing and served in the White House speechwriting office of President George W. Bush. Her resume weaves on in other impressive directions. She was also a leadership staff member to then-Senate Majority Whip Mitch McConnell, and did a stint as a policy advisor and press liaison at the Administration for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

See her ballsy letter…

Read more

12 Things We Never Tire of in the Fishbowl

By Betsy Rothstein, Peter Ogburn and Eddie Scarry

We know you have one more year-end list in you. Or maybe you don’t. But wake up anyhow because here’s ours — the 12 things that never, ever make us want to take an afternoon snooze.

12. NBC Luke Russert‘s loud and fratboyish ways. Even House Speaker John Boehner has noted his decibel level and called him “loudmouth.” Though he’ll never get White House Soup of the Day quite right when he subs for Chuck Todd on “The Daily Rundown,” among our favorite moments with Luke this year was when he had a stop and smell the roses moment at a Nats game and took a picture of a spellbinding dragonfly, which he later posted on Twitter. Perhaps more poignantly though was when he covered a Capitol Hill presser and asked House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi if she was too old to remain in the Democratic leadership. The crowd of female lawmakers openly booed him. Pelosi told him he was offensive, even if he didn’t quite get it. Among the most entertaining comments sprang from CNN’s Hilary Rosen, who wrote on Twitter, “Note to Luke Russert: Mitch McConnell is 70, Harry Reid is 73. Oh and Bob Schieffer is 75. Think they should step aside? #NewGuysRule?” The question wasn’t an inappropriate one to raise, as lawmakers themselves had been discussing it out of earshot of Pelosi. Perhaps, as some noted, the time and setting and brash way in which Russert executed his questions were troublesome. Still, we especially enjoyed the commenters on Politico. There was the irate Wendy: “Luke Russert got his ass handed back to him. Any more questions, punk?” And the more sensible Chance: “Reporters should be asking tough, offensive and even stupid questions.”

11. Video journalist Michelle Fields flashing her breasts on national TV to get a job for Fox News. Her large male online contingency didn’t mind it much, either. In the meantime The Daily Caller gave her the axe for being lazy. Somehow Executive Editor David Martosko‘s lectures didn’t work? Favorite 2012 memory: There was the January manifesto from a convicted rapist that Michelle showed off on Facebook. But we’re torn between that and the more recent BuzzFeed party, where she unashamedly performed dramatic hair flips as our own Eddie Scarry snapped pictures.

10. Most things Matthew Boyle. The 20-something dogged journo never ceases to amaze. There was the time he insisted that the President of the Free World should allow him over for an interview. The more recent jaw-dropping moment from Boyle came when he fled The Daily Caller for Breitbart.com because he wants to be the next Andrew Breitbart. He started this adventure by taking his own photograph for the site, giving himself the unfortunate look of a triple-chinned Michelin Man. In his opening story out of the gate, he wrote an atrociously unedited right-wing rant about “magic vaginas.” We’re still not sure what those our, except we think they don’t involve Sandra Fluke. It was perfect. And terrible. And because we love Boyle in our own special way, we’d like to kidnap and deprogram him before it’s too late and the goose is boiled. Stick to breaking news Boyle and it’ll be just fine. And whatever you do, don’t stay there long.

9. Inside stories from The Washington Times. Always weird, unexpected, mind-boggling happenings at the ominous building off New York Avenue. Who can forget when former writer Julia Duin publicly accused then-editor Sam Dealey of verbally abusing her by canning her on the very day she decided to bring her daughter to work? She was also reportedly on crutches that day. And then there’s the more recent spate of stories concerning the impending layoffs coming in early 2013. The newsroom has dubbed their CEO Larry Beasley “Evil Santa” for a number of reasons, including recently moving a new sofa into his office while deciding whom to lay off. He also recently displayed a Santa doll holding a Christmas tree with the word “joy” on it. As the journalists await possible pink slips, they’re anything but joyful.

See the remaining eight entries of things that never bore us… Read more

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