NY Times reports reasons for editor change ‘not immediately clear’

Jill Abramson is leaving her post as executive editor at the newspaper, ceding the post to Dean Baquet. According to a spokeswoman, the change is intended to improve newsroom management. (UPDATED)


“The reasons for the switch were not immediately clear.” That’s the last line of The New York Times‘ own report about its sudden change of executive editors. The current executive editor, Jill Abramson, who has held the position since 2011, is being succeeded by managing editor Dean Baquet. Advertising Age reported that spokeswoman for the paper said Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. decided to make the change to “improve some aspects of the management of the newsroom.” Abramson did get the opportunity to release a statement: “I’ve loved my run at the Times. I got to work with the best journalists in the world doing so much stand-up journalism.” The Times reported that Abramson expressed particular pride about having appointed numerous female senior editors. In his statement, Baquet said, “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.” He will be the Times‘ first-ever black executive editor. Sulzberger also released a statement, saying Baquet “is an exceptional reporter and editor with impeccable news judgment who enjoys the confidence and support of his colleagues around the world and across the organization.” Is the implication that Abramson wasn’t those things or didn’t have that level of support? How does this abrupt change—even gossipy reporters were surprised—reflect on the newspaper of record? Please weigh in, PR Daily readers. UPDATE: Several news sources reported Wednesday evening that the reason for Abramson’s departure was a pay dispute. Specifically, reports claim Abramson was reportedly upset to discover that she was being paid less than her male predecessor. A Times spokeswoman told Business Insider that contention simply isn’t true. “Jill’s total compensation as executive editor was not meaningfully less than Bill Keller’s, so that is just incorrect,” she said. (Image via & via)

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