Jill Abramson's departure from New York Times may have been over equal pay
The media world was left stunned on Wednesdayafternoonwhen theNew York Timesannouncedthat executive editor Jill Abramson was leaving and that she would bereplacedby Dean Baquet. Since then, there has been wild speculation about whatlead toAbramson’s firing, with some suggesting it may have been over pay.
Abramson was the first woman to hold thepositionand was only named executive editor in September 2011. But, even though she helped the Times grow online, shewas firedon Wednesdayafternoon.New York TimesCompany chairman Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. surprised the staff by making the announcement during a meeting at around 2:30 p.m.
There was no reasonannouncedimmediately, but it was clear that Abramson was fired.The New Yorkerwas among the first sites to report that it may have been because Abramson learned that her predecessor, Bill Keller, received higher pay and better pension benefits. An anonymous source for theNew Yorkersaid that she “confronted” the top executives.
Now, this is where it gets a bit confusing. A Times spokeswoman told theNew Yorkerthat Abramson’s pay “was directly comparable to Bill Keller’s,” but, asGawkerpointed out, the Times gave a different statement toBusiness Insider.
“Jill's total compensation as executive editor was not meaningfully less than Bill Keller's, so that is just incorrect,” spokeswoman Eileen Murphy said. “Her pension benefit, like all Timesemployees, is based on her years of service and compensation. The pension benefit was frozen in 2009.”
Murphy then gave Gawker another statement,this onereading, “There is no discrepancy. Jill’s compensation was directly comparable to Bill’s during their times as executive editor.”
Still, there appears to be no question that Abramson and Sulzberger clashed.The Timesreports that Sulzberger heard complaints fromemployeesthat she was polarizing. She also apparently didn’t agree with Bacquet, as she waslooking tohire Janine Gibson from The Guardian to work alongside him.
“It is an honor to be asked to lead the only newsroom in the country that is actually better than it was a generation ago, one that approaches the world with wonder and ambition every day,” Baquet said in a statement.
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Sunday, August 31 2014 11:11 AM EDT2014-08-31 15:11:31 GMT
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