New chief for N.Y. Times

19-year vet Keller was in the running for the post in 2001

The New York Times is expected to appoint Bill Keller as executive editor today.

Keller, 54, would take over from interim executive editor Joe Lelyveld, who was named to the post after Howell Raines resigned June 5 in the wake of controversy stemming from disgraced reporter Jayson Blair.

The managing editor slot, the No. 2 position in the Times newsroom, is not expected to be filled until later. It has been open since Gerald Boyd resigned along with Raines.

Keller’s appointment to the top post has been widely anticipated in recent days. Managing editor of the paper under Lelyveld, he was in the running for the top job in 2001. Though Lelyveld had lobbied for Keller, Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. tapped Raines instead.

At the time, Keller was seen as a possible successor to Raines. Since then, Keller has written an Op-Ed column and longer pieces for the New York Times Magazine.

Keller first joined the Times in 1984 after working at several other papers. He soon became a foreign correspondent with postings in Moscow and Johannesburg, South Africa. Keller received a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting from the Soviet Union.

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