Hyun Jin (Preston) Moon, chairman of Unification Church International (UCI Group) and eldest son of Rev. Sun Myung Moon, founder of the Unification Church, is shown in Seattle, Washington during a magazine interview on August 4, 2010. UCI Group's media arm News World Communications owns The Washington Times and United Press International. UPI/JoongAng Monthly | License Photo
SEATTLE, Sept. 8 (UPI) -- An abrupt cutoff of overseas funding and the general state of the American newspaper industry have caused The Washington Times severe financial difficulties, the chairman of the company that owns the newspaper said recently.
Preston Moon, the chairman of News World Communications, which owns both the Times and United Press International, spoke about the Times in a wide-ranging interview with the South Korean monthly magazine Joong-Ang.
Funding to the Times from the Tongil Group, a South Korean non-profit group founded by Sun Myung Moon and associated with the Unification Church, was halted in July 2009, Joong-Ang said. Preston Moon told the magazine the cut "happened abruptly, to the surprise of everyone."
"We made every effort to keep [the Times] afloat," he said, but that meant sharp cuts to keep the newspaper publishing.
News World agreed recently to sell the Times to a group of former executives of the newspaper for $1. The deal is in due diligence with a determination expected within a month.
News World was established by Unification Church founder the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, Preston's father, who launched the Times in 1982.
Preston Moon said his father established the paper "to educate America about the threat of communism globally."
"So, it was one of the most instrumental media agencies in America that helped define and win the Cold War," he told Joong-Ang.
He also spoke to the magazine about his international grassroots peace-building efforts through the Global Peace Festival Foundation that he began in 2008 and leads. GPFF promotes conflict resolution and stability through interfaith cooperation, initiatives for strengthening families and engaging young people in service projects.
GPFF's annual convention will be November in Nairobi, Kenya. Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga have taken the lead in supporting the event, Joong Ang reported.