Big Changes At Washington Times

The following memorandum was sent to Washington Times employees yesterday:

    Douglas D.M. Joo has been appointed corporate chairman of The Washington Times LLC and Thomas P. McDevitt will succeed him as president of the newspaper, the company announced today. Mr. McDevitt, a member of the board and former marketing director of The Washington Times, is senior vice president of the Points of Light Foundation.

    The Washington Times’ brand strength and influence has grown both domestically and internationally, creating both needs and opportunities in the fields of public relations and diplomacy. To incorporate these roles, The Washington Times LLC board decided to fill the vacant position of corporate chairman and asked Mr. Joo to take on this new role.

    Mr. Joo joined The Washington Times Corporation in 1991 as vice president, next year becoming president and de facto publisher. Over the next 15 years he set the company on a course intended to establish economic viability, including launching the National Weekly Edition of The Times, numerous sister publications such as Tiempos del Mundo, and the AmericanLife cable TV station. He also launched, which last year was ranked as the fastest growing website among all U.S. dailies in the 25-34 age group, according to the NAA’s publication, PressTime.

    He initiated a vigorous community relations program and pursued alternative revenue sources such as creating Citizens Forums, supporting volunteerism programs, providing company tours and education aids such as COW (Curriculum on Wheels) for students, and sponsoring the Capitals. Internationally he started overseas electronic editions and reports from foreign countries, and locally he created the Neighborhood Direct advertising program.

    Mr. Joo served as chairman and CEO of UPI for some years while president of The Washington Times. He also is chairman of the nonprofit American Family Coalition and president of the World Media Association and the Washington Times Foundation.

    While the Chairman now pursues outreach activities and provides general oversight, the President will focus on the day-to-day operations and implementation of long-term strategies to achieve profitability.

    Mr. McDevitt will take over as president effective March 5.

    Mr. McDevitt’s business and strategic experience is well suited for this responsibility. He started at The Times in 1994 as business director, guiding the National Weekly Edition to more than 100,000 paid circulation in just three years by developing national market segments of new readers. He served as general manager of our former Magazine Division and further developed his strategic marketing and management skills in the intensely competitive magazine industry. As The Times’ marketing director, Mr. McDevitt oversaw our brand strategy, launched the community relations program, supervised engagement with readership behavior-based market research, and enriched market research and mapping capability. He served as special assistant to the president as well as vice president and handled a wide range of corporate and public relations initiatives.

    In October 2005 he went to the Points of Light Foundation as vice president of marketing and communications and 11 months later was promoted to senior vice president.

    As a board member of The Washington Times LLC, he was asked to take responsibility as chairman of the 25th anniversary committee. The newspaper’s 25th anniversary is May 17.