Abramson was dismissed from her role as executive editor of the New York Times after three years.
She was the first female editor in the newspaper’s 162-year history, and in her former position, was among the top 20 most powerful women in the world.
Baquet is the newspaper’s first African American executive editor, though this achievement could be overshadowed by the circumstances surrounding Abramson’s dismissal.
She hired a lawyer to raise the issue of her unequal salary with the paper’s publishers, and a spokesperson for the New York Times claimed that this action “was part of a pattern that caused frustration” among the paper’s upper echelons.
Sulzberger insisted her pay was “comparable” with that of previous editors, and went on to say, “Her total compensation package was more than 10 percent higher than that of her predecessor, Bill Keller, in his last full year as executive editor…(and) higher than his total compensation in any previous year.”
A New York Times report also claimed that Baquet was unhappy with a decision made by Abramson to offer the Guardian’s Janine Gibson the position of co-managing editor without his prior knowledge. This is said to have created a conflict between Abramson and Baquet, which caught the attention of Sulzberger Jr.
Gibson, who was recently appointed as editor-in-chief of the Guardian’s global website, confirmed in a report for the Guardian that she had been approached for the position: “The New York Times talked to me about the role of joint managing editor, but I said no.”
Several staff at the paper have said that she will be missed. Alison Mitchell, national editor of the NYT, said, “Jill was an important figure. It is important that a woman became the editor of the New York Times and she went out of her way to mentor younger women reporters.”
Lydia Polgreen, the paper’s deputy international editor, tweeted, “Jill Abramson is a great journalist. I will miss her.”
Natalie Nougayrède, who was the first female editor of Le Monde, is believed to have resigned from her role following a power struggle with seven of the newspaper’s senior editors last week.
It is said that conflict arose when she called for a revamp of the newspaper. In particular, there were disputes over a new print format, a tablet edition of the newspaper and planned personnel changes.
This saw seven of the newspaper’s top editors resign from their roles in protest.
Nougayrède explained the reason for her departure in an email to staff: “The personal and direct attacks against the management and myself prevent me from implementing the transformation plan I put to shareholders and which requires the broad agreement of the editorial teams.”
Her resignation comes nearly a year after she secured the role with a record 80 percent support in an in-house ballot, following the sudden death of her predecessor, Erik Izraelewicz.
This post was first published by the World Editors Forum on www.editorsweblog.org and is republished here with their kind permission.
Jill Abramson, in her first public appearance since being fired, addressed the graduating class at Wake Forest college on Monday, 19 May.
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