Washington Times fires top editor Sam Dealey

The Washington Post/November 20, 2010

The new owners of the Washington Times fired the paper's top editor, Sam Dealey, on Friday and announced that they would search nationally for a replacement to lead the struggling Unification Church-owned daily.

Managing editor Christopher Dolan has stepped in as acting editor, the newspaper announced.

The announcement - first reported by Politico - was expected by several staffers in the Times newsroom since the paper's founder, the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, and a trio of former Times executives purchased it back from Preston Moon, the founder's son, in early November for $1 and the assumption of millions of dollars of debt.

The 28-year-old paper has experienced nearly a year of uncertainty and shrinkage, as a dispute among Moon family members halted the flow of church subsidies to the newsroom, resulting in mass layoffs and the cutting of the metro and sports sections. The new owners - who, along with the paper's president, Thomas McDevitt, had been fired by Preston Moon - have said they want to restore those coverage areas.

Dealey, whose short tenure began early this year, declined to comment. McDevitt could not be reached Friday for comment.

"This is as simple as the new owner never hired Sam and they want to bring in their own person. It's not anything about Sam per se, except that he's not theirs," said a Washington Times newsroom source who spoke on the condition of anonymity, for fear of reprisal.

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