Memo: The Washington Times could be sold for $1

The Associated Press/August 31, 2010

Washington - The company that owns The Washington Times said the newspaper could be sold for $1 to a Unification Church-affiliated buyer, according to in a memo released to the media Tuesday.

Editorial adviser Michael Marshall's memo said the preliminary agreement would essentially transfer the paper from a company controlled by Preston Moon, the son of Unification Church leader and newspaper founder Rev. Sun Myung Moon, to a firm headed by Doug Joo, one of the elder Moon's allies.

Joo had been the publication's chairman, but was ousted in November 2009 along with Thomas P. McDevitt, the paper's president and publisher; and Keith Cooperrider, the chief financial officer. Joo did not immediately return a voicemail message left at his home phone number Tuesday.

News World Communications, the company controlled by Preston Moon, is also asking Joo's Delaware-based News World Media Development to assume the paper's financial and legal obligations to its employees and creditors in the tentative deal, according to the memo. The proposed deal is subject to a 30-day due diligence period.

The conservative newspaper has struggled financially. It cut roughly 40 percent of its staff this year and eliminated its sports section.

Sam Dealey, the newspaper's executive editor, confirmed the tentative deal to transfer ownership last week but declined to comment on Marshall's memo on Tuesday. Don Meyer, a spokesman for the newspaper, also declined to comment.

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