- The Washington Times - Friday, November 13, 2009

The Washington Times announced Thursday that Executive Editor John Solomon had tendered his resignation from the company on Nov. 6.

An award-winning investigative journalist and editor, Mr. Solomon had held the post since Jan. 15, 2008, replacing veteran editor and columnist Wesley Pruden.

Reached on his cell phone late Thursday, Mr. Solomon declined to comment on his decision to resign.

“We will conduct business as usual under the able leadership of Jeff Birnbaum, managing editor-digital, and David Jones, managing editor-print,” said Jonathan Slevin, acting president and publisher of The Times.

“While John Solomon was our executive editor, The Times moved from a print newspaper with a Web site to a multimedia enterprise, following the business strategy developed just prior to his hiring,” Mr. Slevin added. “I salute our newsroom during a difficult week.”

The announcement of Mr. Solomon’s resignation followed four event-filled days at the newspaper that were closely followed by other news organizations and bloggers.

Thomas P. McDevitt - a veteran employee who was promoted from vice president of marketing at The Times to president and publisher of the paper in 2007 - was relieved of his job Sunday, along with Chief Financial Officer Keith Cooperrider and Chairman Douglas D.M. Joo.

Employees were notified of Mr. Solomon’s resignation in an e-mail message from the company and during a brief newsroom meeting as the evening deadline loomed.

“We will pull through. We put out a great product, and we’re going to continue to do that,” Mr. Jones told the assembled crowd of about 70 editors and reporters.

“It’s a loss,” Mr. Birnbaum told the newsroom.

“John Solomon was our leader during a time of remarkable change and tremendous improvements in many ways. His resignation is a loss, but it is not the end of The Washington Times by any means,” Mr. Birnbaum added.

During Mr. Solomon’s tenure, The Times upgraded its Web site and its broadcast news gathering, launched a nationally syndicated radio show, a citizen journalism project and a syndication service - among many other projects meant to keep the paper and its information services competitive in a crowded marketplace.

The Times, like other news organizations, is seeking ways to “monetize” its content and quell competition from broadcast and online sources for audience and ad revenue.