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NYT Editor Resigns - Press Release & Staff Memo

Press Release Source: The New York Times Company

June 5, 2003--The New York Times announced today that Joseph Lelyveld, former executive editor of The Times, has been named interim executive editor, assuming the responsibilities held by Howell Raines, who has resigned as executive editor. Gerald M. Boyd has also resigned as managing editor. No one will be named interim managing editor.

"Howell and Gerald have tendered their resignations, and I have accepted them with sadness based on what we believe is best for The Times," said Arthur Sulzberger Jr., publisher of The New York Times and chairman of The New York Times Company. "They have made enormous contributions during their tenure, including an extraordinary seven Pulitzer Prizes in 2002 and another this year. I appreciate all of their efforts in continuing the legacy of our great newspaper.

"I am grateful to Joe Lelyveld, an editor of superb talents and outstanding accomplishments, for his willingness to provide strong journalistic leadership as we select new executive and managing editors. While the past few weeks have been difficult, we remain steadfast in our commitment to our employees, our readers and our advertisers to produce the best newspaper we can by adhering to the highest standards of integrity and journalism. For nearly 152 years, The Times has devoted itself to this mission. With the efforts of our outstanding staff, we believe we can raise our level of excellence even higher."

Mr. Lelyveld, 66, retired in 2001, after having served as executive editor for seven years. During his tenure, The Times won 12 Pulitzer Prizes, introduced color to its pages, added new sections and greatly expanded its national circulation.

Mr. Lelyveld's assignments as a correspondent included Congo, India and Pakistan, Hong Kong, London and Washington. He was twice the correspondent in South Africa, in 1965 and again from 1980 to 1983. He was also a staff writer and columnist for The New York Times Magazine. He returned to New York as a foreign editor in 1987 and became managing editor, the second highest executive in the newsroom, in 1990 before being named executive editor in 1994.

Mr. Lelyveld has been active as a freelance writer since his departure from The Times, writing for The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine.

His book, "Move Your Shadow," which described decades of racial turmoil in South Africa and reflected his two assignments there, won the Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction in 1986. He also won numerous awards for his reporting, including two George Polk Memorial Awards, and received a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Mr. Lelyveld graduated from the Bronx High School of Science in 1954. In 1958 he graduated from Harvard University with a bachelor's degree in history and English literature and later earned a master's degree in American history there. He graduated from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 1960 and then had a Fulbright scholarship in Burma.

Mr. Raines, 60, became executive editor of The New York Times in 2001, after having served as editorial page editor of The Times since 1993. Previously he had been Washington bureau chief since 1988 and bureau chief in London since 1987.

From 1985 until 1987, Mr. Raines served as deputy Washington editor. Before that he was the chief national political correspondent in 1984, a White House correspondent from 1981 until 1984, and Atlanta bureau chief from 1979 until 1981. He joined The Times in 1978 as a national correspondent in Atlanta.

Before joining The Times, Mr. Raines had been political editor at The St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times from 1976 until 1978. Earlier he was political editor of The Atlanta Constitution, which he joined in 1971 after a year as a reporter on The Birmingham (Ala.) News. His journalistic career began in 1964 with The Birmingham Post-Herald, and he also worked for The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News and WBRC-TV in Birmingham.

Mr. Raines won the Pulitzer Prize in feature writing in 1992 for "Grady's Gift," a personal reflection that appeared in The New York Times Magazine.

Mr. Raines received a bachelor's degree from Birmingham-Southern College in 1964. He went on to earn a master's degree in English from the University of Alabama.

Mr. Boyd, 52, was named managing editor of The New York Times in 2001, after having served as deputy managing editor for news since 1997. Before that, Mr. Boyd had been assistant managing editor from 1993 until 1997.

Mr. Boyd also served as the co-senior editor of The Times's "How Race is Lived in America" series, which was published in 2000 and was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting in the following year.

Mr. Boyd joined The Times in 1983. He soon became a member of its national political team and reported on Vice President Bush during the 1984 presidential campaign. Mr. Boyd became a senior editor in January 1991, when he was appointed special assistant to the managing editor, which led to brief stints as a top editor in the paper's Washington bureau and in its national and metropolitan departments.

Mr. Boyd received a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri in 1973. He began his journalism career as a copy boy at The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, where he eventually became a White House correspondent. In 1980 Mr. Boyd attended Harvard University as a Nieman Fellow.

The New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT - News), a leading media company with 2002 revenues of $3.1 billion, includes The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, The Boston Globe, 16 other newspapers, eight network-affiliated television stations, two New York City radio stations and more than 40 Web sites, including and For the third consecutive year, the Company was ranked No. 1 in the publishing industry in Fortune's 2002 list of America's Most Admired Companies. In 2003 the Company was named by Fortune as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For. The Company's core purpose is to enhance society by creating, collecting and distributing high-quality news, information and entertainment.


Staff memo from NYT publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr.

Subject: Memo from Arthur & Press Release

To The Staff,

As you can see from the attached press release, this morning I
accepted the resignations of Howell Raines, our executive editor, and Gerald Boyd, our managing editor. Both Howell and Gerald have made enormous and lasting contributions to The Times over their long and distinguished careers. Given the events of the last month, however, Howell and Gerald concluded that it was best for The Times that they step down. With great sadness, I agreed with their decision.

Joe Lelyveld will return to serve as interim executive editor until
the selection of new executive and managing editors is made. Since most of you know Joe, you'll understand why we can all be confident that during this interim period the immediate responsibility for the quality of our journalism will be in very good hands.

While the process of selecting a new executive editor will take some
time, we will put that time to good use. The work of the newsroom's Siegal committee and other groups will continue with the goal of providing recommendations for strengthening our newsroom management systems and tightening some of our journalistic practices. I will remain extremely active in assuring that the momentum of these efforts continues.

This has been a difficult and painful time for all of us. Now our
task is to go back to doing what we're here to do - publishing this great newspaper. Our readers deserve no less.

While we focus on our craft, I can assure you that we will be just
as focused on the goal of creating a work environment that is commensurate with the quality of our journalism and the esteem with which our brand, The New York Times, is held. We deserve no less.

I know that I can count on your support in accomplishing these
important goals.


© Scoop Media

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