The full text of New York Times Executive Editor Howell Raines' comments to staffers Thursday:
"As I'm standing here before you for the last time, I want to thank you for the honor and privilege of being a member of the best journalistic community in the world. It's been a tumultuous 20 months, but we have produced some memorable newspapers. I will always be grateful to Arthur for giving me this opportunity and to you for contributing your hearts and talents to this effort.
I am proud of what we accomplished so far and I'm confident you will achieve the goals mapped out by the publisher. The Times is about continuity. In that spirit, the publisher has asked that Joe Lelyveld come back on an interim basis.
I set out many years ago to live a life devoted to literature and the arts, and I return to that calling with a wider set of interests in writing, the study of history, in painting and photography.
After 25 years at the Times, I look forward to a different kind of adventure. I am blessed to be embarking on this journey with a beloved partner. Krystyna and I wish for you the same blessing that we share today: that you find lives you love and get to live them with the love of your life. And remember, when a big story breaks out, go like hell."