Wednesday, Jul 16, 2003
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Mr. Keller (54), a former Times Managing Editor and foreign correspondent, was chosen by the publisher, Arthur Sulzberger Jr. to replace Howell Raines.
Mr. Raines and the Managing Editor, Gerald Boyd, resigned under pressure on June 5, five weeks after the discovery that Mr. Blair, one of the paper's young stars, had plagiarised material, invented quotes and wrote stories under datelines of places he had never visited.
Mr. Keller addressed a packed newsroom on Monday morning after Mr. Sulzberger announced his appointment, which takes effect on July 30. A Managing Editor will be named in the coming weeks, the newspaper said.
Mr. Keller told the Times' staff that the time had come to begin looking ahead rather than focusing on the events of the past few months.
"A little introspection is a tonic, but too much of it is poison," Mr. Keller said.
Mr. Keller apparently sought to set himself apart from Mr. Raines, who was criticised by staffers for picking favourites and having an autocratic and overbearing management style.
"The great ambition of this paper since its founding has been to report the news without fear or favour," Mr. Keller said. "I hope to run a newsroom that is, likewise, without fear or favour."
In a telephone interview, Mr. Keller said he hoped his appointment marked a new phase for the newspaper, but added: "I won't honestly be able to say that we put everything behind us until I've looked at all the work that various committees are doing."
Mr. Keller was a top candidate for the job the last time around, when Joseph Lelyveld left as Executive Editor in 2001.
Mr. Raines was picked instead, and Mr. Keller became a Times columnist and senior writer for The New York Times Magazine.
Mr. Lelyveld came out of retirement to serve as interim executive editor after the scandal broke.
In a letter to the staff announcing Mr. Keller's appointment, Mr. Sulzberger said committees looking into the Times' journalism and management would report their findings by the end of the month.
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