By crossing a sacred family line, Robinson gave Golden the opening he needed to assert himself. Golden, an agent of his family’s unhappiness, and a man looking for a larger role, became directly involved in Robinson’s exit. In the past, Sulzberger had the authority to keep Golden and the rest of his family at arm’s length. Now, with the business struggling and his absences very much a matter of internal discussion, he was no longer in a position to protect Robinson — and, maybe just as important, he had lost the will to do so. His girlfriend didn’t like her. He had lost his digital guru because of her. And now his cousin wanted her gone, too. Sulzberger was up against the wall.
“She confronted the top brass,” one close associate said, and this may have fed into the management’s narrative that she was “pushy,” a characterization that, for many, has an inescapably gendered aspect.”
Thompson's role as house philosopher grated on Abramson. A particular flashpoint was Thompson’s emphasis on video. Abramson was skeptical. “Jill does not like video,” a person familiar with her thinking told me. “She thought there is nothing more boring than two print people talking in front of a camera about a story you can you read in a minute.” ,
"It is simply not true that Jill’s compensation was significantly less than her predecessors," Sulzberger wrote this afternoon in a memo to staff obtained by Capital. "Her pay is comparable to that of earlier executive editors. In fact, in 2013, her last full year in the role, her total compensation package was more than 10% higher than that of her predecessor, Bill Keller, in his last full year as Executive Editor, which was 2010. It was also higher than his total compensation in any previous year.
in 2013, her last full year in the role, her total compensation package was more than 10% higher than that of her predecessor, Bill Keller, in his last full year as Executive Editor, which was 2010. It was also higher than his total compensation in any previous year.
I also asked The Times’s spokeswoman, Eileen Murphy, if the parity referred to in the email below occurred after a complaint. “No, absolutely not,” she said. “There was no such adjustment. That’s false.”
Several weeks ago, I’m told, Abramson discovered that her pay and her pension benefits as both executive editor and, before that, as managing editor were considerably less than the pay and pension benefits of Bill Keller, the male editor whom she replaced in both jobs...Eileen Murphy, a spokeswoman for the Times, said that Jill Abramson’s total compensation as executive editor “was directly comparable to Bill Keller’s”—though it was not actually the same
Let’s look at some numbers I’ve been given: As executive editor, Abramson’s starting salary in 2011 was $475,000, compared to Keller’s salary that year, $559,000. Her salary was raised to $503,000, and—only after she protested—was raised again to $525,000. She learned that her salary as managing editor, $398,000, was less than that of a male managing editor for news operations, John Geddes. She also learned that her salary as Washington bureau chief, from 2000 to 2003, was a hundred thousand dollars less than that of her predecessor in that position, Phil Taubman. (Murphy would say only that Abramson’s compensation was “broadly comparable” to that of Taubman and Geddes.)
40 mins on phone to Janine…. I told her there really was a new spirit in the newsroom and she buys that and has been impressed by what’s been achieved recently. She reveres you and will need convincing that you’re going to sign up for some more years as Editor. I told her I was doing my best to persuade you that you should! … I’ll see her again when she’s in next week.
It is always hard to say what causes a final break—a firing, a divorce—but, clearly, a last straw came a few weeks ago, when Abramson, who made little secret of her displeasure with Sulzberger, decided to hire a lawyer to complain that her salary was not equal to that of her predecessor, Bill Keller. She had also been told by reliable sources at the paper that, as managing editor, she had once earned less than her own deputy, John Geddes. Abramson’s attempt to raise the salary issue at a time when tempers were already frayed seemed wrongheaded to Sulzberger and Thompson, both on its merits and in terms of her approach. Bringing in a lawyer, in particular, seems to have struck them as especially combative. Eileen Murphy, a spokeswoman for the Times, argued that there was no real compensation gap, but conceded to me that “this incident was a contributing factor” to the firing of Abramson, because “it was part of a pattern.”
"Baquet burst out of Abramson’s office, slammed his hand against a wall, and stormed out of the newsroom. He would be gone for the rest of the day, absent from the editors’ daily 4 p.m. meeting, at which he is a fixture."
Abramson’s removal and Dean Baquet’s ascent has apparently inspired someone inside the Times to leak...the full report of the newsroom innovation team that was given six full months to ask big questions about the Times’ digital strategy. (A summary version of it was leaked last week, but this is the big kahuna.)
Ms. Abramson was also offered a more gentle departure from the newspaper, according to a person with knowledge of the discussions. But she declined, this person said, and wanted it made clear that she was fired.
And sure enough this was exactly the fight that immediately erupted again on Wednesday among the commentariat about both women, a discussion that dwelled at great length on their personalities, their leadership skills and the extent to which their status as trailblazers in a male-dominated world was relevant. Even the defense—and there were many defenders—was being waged on this battlefield, the terrain of women’s personal qualities and whether they truly belong in the public positions that remain a man’s unquestioned privilege.
It was predictably awful, and I was not in the least bit surprised. Because this has happened to just about every woman I know who has dared to take up a highly visible leadership position in our great but troubled news organizations. Including me.
Let me be perfectly clear when it comes to ousted New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson: She has, on some occasions I have spent time with her, scared the bejesus out of me.
That said, it was in a very good way.
I am not sure whether it was her unusually focused stare, which can be unsettling. Or her supernatural ability to be completely still when listening to you, which can be discomforting in that it is not a stance that would put anyone at ease. Or even her bone-dry wit, which can be sharp but in a manner that is, to my mind, brilliant.
That steel-backed ability to communicate an aura of toughness and command has never been a minus to me, and, I would assume, not at the pinnacle of American journalism where the Times has long reigned. This is the big leagues, right, where there is no crying in baseball.
« Older This indignant map exposes the seamy underbelly of... | Q&A: Ginger Baker on Why 'the ... Newer »
This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments
Buy a Shirt