Noticias to Close; Moonies Axing 86

New York Post/April 20, 2004
By Keith J. Kelly

The publishing arm of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church is shutting down Noticias del Mundo, a Spanish-language newspaper that circulates in New York City, and laying off staffers across the company.

News World Communications, the owner of The Washington Times, UPI and other publications, said it was firing 86 people, about 6.3 percent of its worldwide workforce of 1,200.

Slated to be dumped are 38 people working on the daily Noticias, which is based in Long Island City.

A Washington, D.C.-based monthly magazine, The World & I, will also close, with 31 people to be let go.

The biweekly Insight on the News is firing 17 people - about 77 percent of its staff - and dropping back to a five-person skeleton crew.

The Washington Times, the UPI news service and The Washington Times National Weekly Edition were not hit by the cutbacks, a spokeswoman said.

News World Communications is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Unification Church headed by Korean Rev. Moon, the preacher famed for arranging mass weddings for followers at Madison Square Garden.

News World President Chung Hwan Kwak could not be reached for comment.

In a statement, News World Vice President Keith Cooperrider said the cutbacks were part of a restructuring.

"To improve our competitive standing in this market-driven business, we are constantly looking for better ways to focus our resources," he said.

Insiders at the Spanish-language daily in New York were angered because the corporation said it was going to shut down April 30 without trying to find a buyer to rescue the publication.

"They informed us Friday they are closing down," said one insider. "They said they are in bad shape."

News World officials would not disclose the financials of the soon-to-be-shuttered publications or the parent company.

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