InstaPundit 1, Howell Raines

Times Editor’s Tough Style Left Him Few Staff Allies (
Not much to add to this other than I hope the NYT starts reporting straight news again and keeps the editorializing on the proper page. They could also do without the crusades as well. They’re powerful, but not so much that they can beat the drums on the front page every day and expect the country to fall in line.

In the end, Howell Raines sowed the seeds of his self-destruction with a bruising management style that left him with few allies in his hour of crisis.

His relentless drive and determination, great strengths in an editor, also alienated wide swaths of the New York Times newsroom, as people felt excluded and in many cases shoved aside by his autocratic rule.

“If people had voted in April, long before Jayson Blair, he would have lost that vote,” a Times reporter said yesterday after Raines’s resignation. “I just don’t think he built much support for his regime. He never built a cabinet. He concentrated power in so few people that he didn’t have a team.”

Interviews with a broad range of Times staffers, most of whom declined to be named because of the unsettled situation, make clear that the departure of Raines and his managing editor, Gerald Boyd, was not entirely voluntary. Raines, in fact, was setting up appointments with staffers for next week. But Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr., after a meeting with the Washington bureau Tuesday, must have “concluded there was no resurrection possible,” a staffer said. “People thought it was the right move because of the amount of resentment and rage Howell had engendered with his imperious style of management, completely top-down.”

What was particularly striking, the staffer said, was that no one at the Washington meeting spoke up in Raines’s favor. As for Boyd, the staffer said, his departure if Raines was forced out “was seen as inevitable because they were a tandem.”

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