Bill Keller recently wrote, and I quoted:
“I run into readers who believe The Times is a place directed from on high,” Keller replied. “The truth is that our priesthood of journalists operates with great autonomy, and our congregation of readers makes up its own mind — all as it should be. In the unlikely event that the pope ever invited me for tea, we’d probably have stories to swap about the practical limits of authority. ‘Absolute monarchs’ indeed!”
Bill Keller has been the executive editor of The New York Times since 2003. In May 2011, The New York Times announced that Mr. Keller is stepping down to become a full-time writer for the paper. He will be repaced by Jill Abramson, a former investigative reporter and Washington bureau chief for The Times.
Ms. Abramson, a managing editor since 2003, becomes the first woman to hold that position. She has been one of Mr. Keller's two top deputies overseeing the entire newsroom.
Mr. Keller, who ran the newsroom during eight years of great journalistic distinction but also declining revenue and cutbacks throughout the industry, said that with a formidable combination in place to succeed him, he felt it was a good time to step aside.
Mr. Keller said he was still working out the details of a column he will write for the paper’s new Sunday opinion section, which will be introduced later in May. He did rule one project out. “I won’t be writing a book about The New York Times,” he said.
Before becoming executive editor in July 2003. Mr. Keller had been an Op-Ed columnist and senior writer for The New York Times Magazine as well as other areas of the newspaper since September 2001. He served as managing editor from 1997 to September 2001 after having been the newspaper's foreign editor from June 1995 to 1997. He was the chief of The Times bureau in Johannesburg from April 1992 until May 1995.
From December 1986 to October 1991, Mr. Keller was a Times correspondent in Moscow, serving as bureau chief during his last three years there. In 1989, he won a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the Soviet Union. Mr. Keller joined The New York Times in 1984 as a domestic correspondent based in the Washington bureau.
Before coming to The Times, Mr. Keller was a reporter for The Dallas Times Herald, the Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report in Washington and The Portland Oregonian.
Mr. Keller graduated from Pomona College with a B.A. degree in 1970 and is a member of the college's board of trustees.