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The Critics: NY Times Editors Resign

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Howell Raines, who took over the helm of the New York Times's culture section a year or two ago and immediately provoked controversy, resigned from the paper today, in the fallout over the Jayson Blair plagiarism scandal. When Raines was promoted to culture editor, he announced his intention of focusing less on the high arts are more on popular culture. It should be interesting to see who succeeds him and how the new editor will approach the job.

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I think he's the Executive Editor. But when there's a shake up at the top, especially since this one is aimed at the ethos of the paper generally, it may well affect arts coverage.


Here's a link to the story on CNN:


Top New York Times editors quit


New York Times' Executive Editor Howell Raines and Managing Editor Gerald Boyd stepped down today in the wake of the journalistic scandal surrounding reporter Jayson Blair. Blair, who was forced to resign for plagiarism, said today "I wish the rolling heads had stopped with mine."


[Just a note -- I edited the title of the thread to remove "arts"]

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Howell Raines was the executive editor. Gerald Boyd, managing editor, also resigned. Joseph Lelyveld, Raines' predecessor, is taking over as interim executive editor.



The Blair scandal was not, in itself, a large enough matter to provoke the resignation of an executive editor under ordinary circumstances, but needless to say, these circumstances were far from ordinary.

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Yes, and thanks for the reminder, Ari. That's why I thought there might be some hopeful news for arts coverage -- at least, with any change of personnel, there's the possibility of change of policy. It would be nice if media outlets, as they like to be called, realized that it's their constant glorification of money and fame that fills the imaginations of young Jayson Blairs.

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Guest Calliope

In a recent issue of Town & Country there was an article on a writer who the NY Times hired. Young, late 20's early 30's maybe, her name escapes me. But her basic motto was The NYTimes can close a show (she used to work for an online review service) and that's what the public wanted to basically know.

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Well, the Times can close a show, and it's true that a portion of the readership is interested in the reviews chiefly as consumer guides. Those are just facts. But the Times has given generous space to the fine arts.

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Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., the Times' publisher, has asked Raines' predecessor, Joseph Llelyveld, to be interim exec editor. We can assume that immediate changes, if any, will reflect the Times as it was just prior to Raines' reign at the reins. ::groan:: :rolleyes:

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I didn't think Lelyveld did such a bad job, carbro, :rolleyes: but in an interim capacity he's unlikely to make any major changes that we'll see as readers. His tenure is said to be open-ended, but I'm sure they'll want to name someone new and move on as rapidly as possible.

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My groan was directed not at Llelyveld at all, Dirac. He was an excellent Executive Editor, I think. I was groaning at me!

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