- The Washington Times - Friday, June 10, 2011

Ed Kelley, a veteran journalist and award-winning editor and reporter, has been named the new editor of The Washington Times.

Mr. Kelley, who is leaving his post as editor of The Oklahoman in Oklahoma City, will oversee news and opinion content for Washington Times Media, a multi-platform news organization focused on exclusive reporting and compelling conservative opinion. He assumes his duties July 1.

“The company had conducted a nationwide search to identify the best editor who would fit the unique news mission of The Washington Times. Ed Kelley is an excellent choice to advance The Washington Times as it builds a multimedia news company with audiences throughout the United States and world,” said Douglas D.M. Joo, chairman of The Washington Times LLC.

Mr. Kelley, 58, was named Editor of the Year by the National Press Foundation in 1996, served as a Pulitzer Prize juror and was inducted to the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame in 2003 — the year he became editor of The Oklahoman. Before taking the helm of that paper, Mr. Kelley served in virtually every key editorial position at the news organization, including editorial page editor, managing editor and Washington-based correspondent and bureau chief.

Mr. Kelley oversaw the paper’s coverage of the April 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City that won widespread praise, including national honors for deadline reporting and spot news photography from the Society of Professional Journalists.

“I am excited about working with The Washington Times’ journalists and editors to continue The Times’ long history of trusted news and conservative opinion,” Mr. Kelley said.

“I am also excited about the prospect of expanding the Washington metropolitan and national audience for washingtontimes.com and the growth of The Times in other digital, mobile, radio, television and print media.”

Christy Everest, chairman and chief executive officer for The Oklahoma Publishing Company, publisher of The Oklahoman, praised Mr. Kelley Friday and said “there couldn’t have been a better choice” when he was named the paper’s top editor in 2003.

Mr. Kelley began his career at The Oklahoman as a summer intern in 1974 and became a full-time reporter after graduating from the University of Oklahoma a year later. He has been a general assignment reporter, city editor and business editor during his career at the newspaper.

“For more than 35 years, he has served with integrity, professionalism and the highest journalistic principles,” Ms. Everest said.

Mr. Kelley’s skill in new media strategies has won him recognition, particularly through “Oklahoma Matters,” his daily video commentary on issues of public interest, posted online for readers. Mr. Kelley also shepherded the reorganization and redesign of his former paper to suit a changing, competitive media landscape.

“The Washington Times — and our readers — are very fortunate to have an editor with Ed Kelley’s stature and experience,” said Times President Thomas P. McDevitt. “His traditional sense of news credibility and valuable insight into new media makes him one of the finest news editors in America.”

Mr. Kelley fills a position left vacant since the 29-year-old paper was purchased in November by a group operating on behalf of the paper’s founder, the Rev. Sun Myung Moon. The newspaper — which underwent a short-lived ownership change and staff and circulation cuts in 2010 — reintroduced an expanded edition in March that restored coverage in sports, local news and the arts. As part of the expansion, regional home delivery was also reinstated.

The Times’ Managing Editor Christopher Dolan and Editorial Page Editor Brett M. Decker will continue in their roles.

A native of Perry, Oklahoma, Mr. Kelley began his journalism career with his hometown paper, covering local sports for the Perry Daily Journal.

He is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Mr. Kelley is a member of the advisory board for the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Oklahoma, the American Society of Newspaper Editors and is on the advisory committee of the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation.

He is married to Carole Kelley, an educator and head administrator for a top charter school in Oklahoma. The Kelleys have two adult sons living in Washington and a daughter who lives in Oklahoma City.

Oklahoman Publisher David Thompson said in a statement Friday that “Ed’s work and influence runs deep within our company and this state.”

“He is a man of character and integrity and will be greatly missed by our company and the state of Oklahoma. We wish nothing but the best for him and Carole.”

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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