Is Bill Keller Purging The IHT?Times editor Bill Keller's hand was suspected in the May departure of Michael Oreskes from the Times-owned International Herald Tribune. "Fiercely ambitious" Oreskes once vied for editorship of the Times itself, the Post's Keith Kelly reported at the time, and may have been made to pay for a "long history of animosity" with Keller. Now another IHT hand, Serge Schemann is being nudged out the door after accusations of disloyalty to Keller, an email tipster claims. His supposed crime: A meeting with former IHT publisher Michael Golden, the rival and cousin to Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger, just hours after a "make or break" November IHT meeting in Manhattan, a meeting that presumably involved Sulzberger underling Keller.

Golden had a close relationship with not just Schemann but Oreskes as well, having hired him to the IHT and having, according to our tipster, enjoyed with Schemann his temporary "protective patronage."

Oreskes officially left IHT of his own accord to become the first managing editor for U.S. news at the Associated Press. Schemann is said to now be under pressure to likewise find his own landing place — or else be forced to accept a buyout.

With his departure, the IHT op-ed section would then be folded into the Times operations in New York, much as iht.com is being folded into nytimes.com.

Given the extent to which the Times appears to be gutting the IHT, one wonders why the company bothers to keep it as a separate brand rather than simply identifying it as the European edition of the Times.