First on FishbowlDC…Developing…
FishbowlDC has learned that Washington Times Editorial Page Editor Tony Blankley is leaving the Washington Times. The paper is working on a story on Blankley’s departure, which will hit the Web later this evening.
>UPDATE: Blankley is joining the PR firm Edelman and the Heritage Foundation. His column will continue to run in the Times.
>UPDATE: So what does this mean for the paper? Well, it means that they’ll likely be looking for a big name replacement. Since the Times has established itself as a conservative paper (or at least a paper for conservatives), its editorial page is the heart of its operation and has been a destination for some top conservatives, including former White House Press Secretary Tony Snow (1987-1991). As the Times undergoes some self-examination (read: consulting firm), they’ll likely want to bring in a big name to replace Blankley not only to show that they can still bring in Blankley-like talent but to show that the paper is still operating at full-speed.
Blankley’s replacement is expected to be named shortly…
>UPDATE: We’re assuming that Blankley’s move will not affect his gig on the McLaughlin Group and, if so, does that mean that he’s looking for all the journalism good stuff (think tank gig, column still runs, big dough at big PR firm, TV gig, etc.) without all the b.s. (day-to-day management of an editorial page)? Perhaps it’s understandable why he would want that, especially as he gets older (he’s 59)…
>UPDATE: Blankley writes in to FishbowlDC:
I will be continuing on Mc Laughlin as well as my syndicated column , cohosting NPR’s Left, Right and Center, etc. One small correction: I loved editing the editorial and oped pages of the WT. But the manifold appeals of international strategic communications from a venue like Edelman International is too exciting an opportunity to pass up–as you say “as I get older”
Blankley also thinks that this new phase of his life will actually add work to his day, not subtract. In additon, he’s also working on his second book (out of a three book deal). “I live in hope of banging away for a good long time,” he tells FishbowlDC.
>UPDATE: And, in the spirit of FishbowlDC’s “Hottest Media Types” contest, one Edelman employees lets us know that Blankley’s new employer has some nominees for next year’s contest.