Newsweek, like many old traditional print news sources, is getting hammered by declining readership and circulation. In August 2013, dying Newsweek was sold to International Business Times (“IBT”).
So, who owns IBT? Apparently, it is a privately owned enterprise with two main shareholders, founders Etienne Uzac and Johnathan Davis. However, there has been a wealth of information uncovered that IBT, and its founders, have very close ties with Olivet University founder David Jang. Olivert is a Christian evangelical university and David Jang is a evangelical Christian leader who may have controversial religious and secular views. Billy Graham’s Christianity Today accuses Jang of unorthodox religious views such as Jang claiming to be the second coming of Christ.
Of course, when one links “second coming of Christ” and “Korean religious leader” the first thing one may think of is the late Unification Church leader Sun Myung Moon. The Guardian actually tries to link Jang with the Moonies, whereas Mother Jones thinks the link is now dead (David Jang went to Moonie meetings when he was younger, but now rejects that church and its teachings). A cursory review of Olivet University’s mission statement would also indicate that its theology is not compatible with the Unification Church.
Anyways, what’s really gotten the press riled up is the possible association of a stalwart of left leaning news to right leaning religious organizations. Both Jang and the founders of IBT appear to support controversial anti-gay conversion therapies, where individuals go through programs to reduce same sex attraction and increase opposite sex attraction.
Disclaimer: “Very close ties” and “Legal ownership stake” are two very different things. Currently, there is no conclusive proof that Jang owns IBT. The connections are certainly deep and “interesting,” and may be more so as this story develops.