Jill Abramson has been dismissed as executive editor of The New York Times and is being replaced by Dean Baquet, the managing editor, an abrupt change in leadership at one of the nation’s largest daily newspapers.
In announcing the sudden switch to a stunned newsroom Wednesday afternoon, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the publisher of the paper and the chairman of the Times Company, attributed the move to “an issue with management in the newsroom.” Her ouster, according to people in the company briefed on the decision, came after growing tension between Ms. Abramson and Mr. Sulzberger, and a decision by Ms. Abramson to try to hire a senior editor from outside the newspaper to share a co-managing editor title with Mr. Baquet.
Ms. Abramson, 60, a former investigative correspondent and Washington editor who was appointed to lead the newsroom in 2011, was the first woman to serve in the top job. She joined The Times in 1997.
“I’ve loved my run at The Times,” she said in a statement. “I got to work with the best journalists in the world doing so much stand-up journalism,” she added, noting her appointment of many senior female editors as one of her achievements. She did not return phone calls seeking comment.
Mr. Sulzberger informed senior editors of the change in a gathering in a conference room Wednesday afternoon, and shortly afterward addressed hundreds of staff members gathered on the newsroom floor and the staircases surrounding it. He began by praising Mr. Baquet, but declined to elaborate on the question he said was “on all of your minds” — the reason for the sudden switch. He said it was not about the journalism, the direction of the newsroom or the relationship between the newsroom and business sides of the paper.
“I chose to appoint a new leader for our newsroom because I believe that new leadership will improve some aspects of the management of the newsroom,” he said. “You will understand that there is nothing more that I want to say about this. We had an issue with management in the newsroom. And that’s what’s at the heart of this issue.”
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SOURCE: The New York Times