When the kitchen's too hot, get out: Times executive editor Howell Raines and managing editor Gerald Boyd resign. Former executive editor Joseph Lelyveld returns as interim executive editor.
Updated: The Times' Jacques Steinberg (who had been barred from the internal Times town halls as he was the Times reporter covering the Blair story) reports:
In front of dozens of reporters, editors, photographers and other newsroom staff members, many of whom sobbed audibly, Mr. Raines, 60, told them: "Remember, when a great story breaks out, go like hell.''
The remark, which could have been spoken by one of the role models Mr. Raines often cited to his staff, the legendary Alabama football coach Bear Bryant, underscored the magnitude of the many news stories that he and Mr. Boyd had led the staff through in just 21 months: the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon; the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; the explosion of the space shuttle Columbia, and, ultimately and most recently, the exposition and investigation into how Mr. Blair had committed the equivalent of journalistic fraud on at least 36 occasions since October.
But after the deceptions of Mr. Blair were brought to light, in a four-page article that was published on Mother's Day, it became clear that Mr. Raines's hard-charging leadership style had not only played a role in creating the atmosphere that allowed Mr. Blair to do what he did largely undetected but had also alienated him from his staff.