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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.

Management sent an email to staff saying Martin’s contract had expired. But that’s iffy in that he was still working on projects, hadn’t given any signs  that he was leaving earlier this week, and had meetings scheduled in the future.

Word on the street is that he and Editor and Vice President for Content and Business Development (not a weird title at all as business and editorial mix perfectly, right?) John Solomon have been at odds for months over revenue and the TWT business side. Martin will purportedly be paid through the end of this year as part of a severance package.

Sources explain that Martin was trying to position himself to be Larry Beasley‘s (a.k.a. Evil Santa, read the backstory here) replacement as TWT president. “Solomon obviously wasn’t impressed with Martin’s ambition,” a TWT insider informed. “Beasley should watch his back too because Solomon’s ego won’t be satisfied with anything but the top slot.”

Beasley can cross his fingers. His contract was upped until the end of 2015, so he can (hopefully) breathe easy until then. Unless, of course, Solomon has other plans for him.