Howell Raines and Gerald Boyd Are Out in Wake of Blair Scandal

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NEW YORK ( -- Howell Raines and Gerald Boyd, the top New York Times editors who've had their stewardship significantly besmirched by the Jayson Blair scandal, both resigned today.

Mr. Raines, who had been the top news executive as executive editor, will be replaced on an interim basis by his predecessor, Joseph Lelyveld. Mr. Boyd, the paper's managing editor, will not be immediately replaced, either on an interim or permanent basis.

'Best for the Times'
Arthur Sulzberger Jr., publisher of the Times and chairman of the New York Times Co., said, "Howell and Gerald have tendered their resignations, and I have accepted them with sadness based on what we believe is best for the Times."

The paper held an all-staff meeting at 10:30 this morning.

Wracked by Blair scandal
The news comes after an extraordinary six-week period at the Times, during which the paper was wracked by the news a former reporter, Jayson Blair, had fabricated or plagiarized information in more than a score of articles.

The fallout from that scandal brought into focus a host of complaints related to Mr. Raines' leadership of the paper, which he assumed in 2001. Mr. Raines, who had been the Times' editorial page editor, was viewed by staffers as distant and arrogant.

Masters coverage
In some other key instances, Mr. Raines' news judgment was questioned, especially over the Times' heavy coverage of the Augusta National Golf Club, at which the Masters are held and which does not allow women to join.

Mr. Raines, 60, came to the Times in 1978 as an Atlanta-based correspondent on its national desk.

Mr. Boyd, 52, had been at the Times since 1983. Prior to his becoming managing editor in 2001, he'd been deputy managing editor for news.

Mr. Boyd, who like Mr. Blair is black, had been cited in some press reports as having been a mentor to the charismatic and troubled young former reporter prior to Mr. Blair's May 1 resignation. Mr. Boyd minimzed this role, but still suffered the indignity of having Mr. Blair, 18 days after he resigned, deny to the New York Observer that he had a close relationship with Mr. Boyd, in part because "I don't like him!"

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