Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Tony Blankley, the editorial page editor of The Washington Times for the past five years, yesterday accepted a position as executive vice president of the Edelman public-relations firm in Washington.

He will also become a visiting senior fellow in national-security communications at the Heritage Foundation. He will continue to write his weekly editorial-page column for The Times.

Mr. Blankley came to The Times after he had written a political-affairs column, and before that, he was press secretary to House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Georgia Republican. He is the author of “The West’s Last Chance: Will We Win the Clash of Civilizations?”

“Since I was a young Reaganite in 1982, I had always read and admired The Washington Times,” he said yesterday. “But working at The Times as editor of the editorial page, I have grown to love the newspaper. Under the leadership of Wes Pruden, it has courage, spirit, professionalism and a profound sense of purpose. It is everything that an American newspaper ought to be — and that makes it very rare these days. It is not only a family newspaper for its readers, but it is very much a family for its employees.”

Mr. Blankley came to Washington with Ronald Reagan in 1982 and worked for six years as a White House speechwriter and senior policy analyst before moving to Capitol Hill. In his new position, he said, he will help Edelman’s clients “navigate the confusing and turbulent waters of today’s Washington.”

Wesley Pruden, the editor in chief of The Times, said, “The Times owes a great debt to Tony, and if I thought it would work, I would have refused to accept his resignation when he told me last month that he would reluctantly leave us. He has given spirit and spunk to our editorial pages, giving them bite as well as bark, and making them unique in Washington, just what editorial pages should be.”

Mr. Pruden said he expects to name a successor within the next few days.

Mr. Blankley was born in England and came to America as a small boy. For a time, he was a child actor, appearing in Humphrey Bogart’s last movie, “The Harder They Fall,” and in several television dramas, including episodes of “Lassie.”

He became an American citizen and was graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles. He also earned his law degree at Loyola University of Los Angeles and certificates in international law at Notre Dame and the University of London. He is married to Lynda C. Davis, and they are parents of two sons and a daughter. They live in Great Falls.

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