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John B. OakesJohn B. Oakes
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We're at the point -- We were just discussing instead of reading it directly into the tape, you'll summarize it a little bit and perhaps we will attach the memo. You can read from portions of the memo that you feel inspired to read from, but -- I know very little about this period, but I'm very curious about it and what the transition was like.


Well, it was very difficult.


My question to you was how did you find out that you were leaving the editorial page? Was it before the time that you were scheduled to leave? And then finally we'll go into something about the transition to Frankel.


Yes. My normal time of retirement -- which I had occasionally discussed with the publisher prior to the time that the events that we're going to talk about started -- my normal time of retirement would have been in 1978. That was absolutely foreseen and even occasionally discussed by me with the publisher in respect to a potential successor to the editorship, the editorial page. In 1978 I would be 65, in April of '78.

However, one day in March of '76, the publisher, Punch Sulzberger, asked me just to drop in to see him at my convenience. The actual date that this episode began was on March 25th, 1976, when Punch began the conversation, which was an entirely casual call for me to come up to drop in, as I said, to drop in to see him after work that day, by telling me that he had decided to name Max Frankel as my successor, when I stepped down from my position as editor of the

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