Douglas D.M. Joo, who has served The Washington Times and its affiliated publications as a senior executive, president, chairman and the company’s board chairman for more than two decades, is stepping down, the newspaper’s executives announced Sunday.
Washington Times President Tom McDevitt was selected Friday by the company’s board to take Mr. Joo’s place as chairman, and the paper announced that Larry Beasley, a onetime senior executive at the St. Petersburg Times and the Los Angeles Daily News, has been hired as the company’s new president and chief executive officer.
Mr. Joo, a longtime supporter and senior adviser to Washington Times founder the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, will be returning to South Korea to take on new responsibilities. Rev. Moon’s Unification Church faces a period of transition in the wake of his death early last month at the age of 92.
“This company, our readers and many friends have all benefited greatly from [Mr. Joo‘s] leadership,” Mr. McDevitt said. “In a volatile media landscape, he was always a consistent presence and reliable guide.”
Mr. Joo in a statement called his 21 years at The Washington Times “the capstone of my professional life.”
“I’m proud of what we’ve done, profoundly thankful to our founders, employees and readers, and look forward to some promising new international opportunities,” he added. “Seeing how far The Times has come in 30 years, it is very clear to me that the news organization is on a good footing, so the timing is right to make this move.”
The board accepted Mr. Joo’s resignation and learned of his plans to return to South Korea at a meeting Oct. 3, a day after the paper celebrated its 30th anniversary with a downtown gala celebration at which the speakers included Mr. Joo, former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, Fox Business Network correspondent John Stossel and the Rev. Hyung Jin Moon, the youngest son of Rev. Moon and president of the Unification Church of America.
Mr. Joo joined The Times in 1991 as senior vice president and served as the company’s president from 1992 to 2007. He served as the company’s chairman from 2007 to 2009 and, after a brief management shake-up, returned to the chairman’s post again in November 2010.
His tenure with The Times saw the launch of a number of sister publications and new media properties, including the World & I magazine, the Spanish-language Tiempos del Mundo and The Washington Times National Weekly Edition. In addition, The Times launched a full-service news website and a daily radio broadcast hosted by veteran D.C. radio personality Andy Parks.
He also has served as president of The Washington Times Foundation since joining the company in 1991.
Mr. Beasley has had an extensive resume with a number of leading media properties. He was general manager in charge of the Pasco, Hernando and Citrus regional editions for the Pulitzer Prize-winning St. Petersburg Times before retiring from the paper in 2007.
Before that, he was president, chief executive officer and publisher of the Los Angeles Daily News after working his way up through the print journalism ranks in California, Missouri, Florida and his native Texas, where he served for a time as publisher of three suburban newspapers for the parent company of The Dallas Morning News.
He has a Washington-area link: At the Los Angeles Daily News, he worked closely with the paper’s owner, Jack Kent Cooke, a longtime owner of the Washington Redskins, until Mr. Cooke’s death in 1997.
He and his wife, Laurie, have three grown children.