- - Monday, January 7, 2013

 In a move to enhance its presence and reach in the digital media world, officials at The Washington Times on Monday announced the creation of two senior digital executive positions and the return of longtime Editor-in-Chief Wesley Pruden to oversee a restructuring of the editorial page and Commentary section.

Times officials said the moves were part of a concentrated push to enhance the publication’s position as a leading digital source for news and opinion for Washington, and will complement the continued publication of the company’s flagship daily newspaper.

John Solomon, who served as the paper’s executive editor from 2008 to 2009, has been named to the new post of chief digital officer, charged with creating new digital revenue and content-distribution channels.

Washington Times Chief Operating Officer John Martin called Mr. Solomon a “leading media innovator for creating digital channels” to expand the reach and impact of the company’s coverage on the Web and other digital outlets.

“We are fortunate to have him back at The Times to focus on developing new products, new revenue streams and new partnerships,” Mr. Martin said.

In addition, veteran journalist Ian Bishop, most recently the managing editor for politics of the New York Daily News, has been recruited to be the newspaper’s new digital editor. Mr. Martin said the company plans a number of new hires in the near future, including continuous-news writers and social media and digital video experts, to expand the newsroom’s digital operations.

The Daily News saw its Web traffic double under Mr. Bishop’s leadership. He had previously served as acting Washington bureau chief for the New York Post and as a Washington-based reporter for the New England Newspaper Group.

“Ian will bring energy, digital savvy and a reporter’s knowledge of how Washington works to help us better serve our millions of online readers,” Mr. Martin said.

Mr. Pruden was the longest tenured editor-in-chief in the paper’s history, guiding the paper from 1993 to 2007. He will continue to write his popular twice-weekly opinion column — published in the news section since 1984 — as he takes on his new assignment restructuring the editorial and Commentary pages, which offer a daily showcase of some of the nation’s best-known conservative thinkers and policymakers.

“Our readers know Wes for his witty political commentary, but he also has a keen sense of how to lift The Washington Times’ opinion pages to a higher level to provide intellectual leadership on such issues as free enterprise, strong defense and traditional American values,” said Larry Beasley, president and chief executive officer of The Times.

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