The Times announced Thursday that Bill Keller is leaving the post to return to writing. He will be replaced by Jill Abramson, formerly one of his top deputies.
Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. says in a statement that Keller asked for the change a few weeks ago. Keller plans to write for The New York Times Magazine and the paper’s Sunday opinion and news section.
Abramson was the paper’s managing editor.
The newspaper said the changes are effective Sept. 6.
Gawker has the internal memo that went out to staff:
I am writing to give all of you – news and business colleagues alike –
some news about a leadership transition in the newsroom of The Times.
Later this year, Bill Keller will step down as executive editor of our
paper. His successor will be Jill Abramson, our managing editor and
Bill’s deputy during the eight years in which he ran our global news
operations. Jill has asked Dean Baquet, our Washington bureau chief,
to serve as her managing editor and he has accepted. All of this will
be effective after Labor Day.
Any change like this is both exciting and bittersweet. On the one
hand, we look forward to the new leadership and all the potential
these two extraordinarily talented journalists offer us. And on the
other, we recognize that with Bill’s departure from his role, we are
losing someone who did an absolutely outstanding job in leading our
newsroom through some very difficult circumstances. We all know that
Bill is leaving to his successors a newsroom as strong as it has ever
been, and one that has shown tremendous flexibility as it expands and
moves further down the path to its multiplatform future. That is the
gift he is bequeathing to Jill and Dean and, through them, to all of
The decision to make this move was Bill’s, and it will shock no one
who knows him to learn that he will return to writing the column and
the magazine pieces that he was so terrific at before he took on the
role of executive editor.
Jill is perfectly prepared to step into her new role. She brings with
her a highly focused and determined journalistic and management style,
one that has served us well. Her decision to name Dean as her deputy
gives us a well rounded and extraordinarily talented leadership team,
one that I believe will take us to even greater levels of journalistic
Please join us in the newsroom at 11:00 this morning when we will have
a bit more to add on this exciting day at The Times.