New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr has provided a fresh defence of his removal of executive editor Jill Abramson, saying it had nothing to do with his company’s treatment of women but with Abramson’s management style.
“During her tenure, I heard repeatedly from her newsroom colleagues, women and men, about a series of issues, including arbitrary decision-making, a failure to consult and bring colleagues with her, inadequate communication and the public mistreatment of colleagues,” Sulzberger, who also chairs the Times parent company, said in a statement.
“The saddest outcome” of the decision, he said, is that many have cast it as an example of unequal treatment of women.
He denied that Abramson’s compensation package was less than her predecessor’s.
Abramson was named executive editor in September 2011, replacing Bill Keller. She was the paper’s first female executive editor.
“Jill’s pay package was comparable with Bill Keller’s; in fact, by her last full year as executive editor, it was more than 10 per cent higher than his,” he wrote.
The Times replaced Abramson, 60, on Wednesday and promoted managing editor Dean Baquet, 57, to executive editor.
Abramson has yet to comment publicly.
No one answered her home phone on Saturday, and she did not immediately respond to a LinkedIn message.
In a blog post on Wednesday, New Yorker staff writer Ken Auletta quoted an anonymous “close associate” who said Abramson confronted the Times’ “top brass” about her pay after discovering that both her pay and her pension benefits were less than that of Keller.
The New York Times reported in its initial story about Abramson’s departure that as part of a settlement agreement between her and the newspaper, neither side would go into detail about her firing.
Sulzberger then said in a memo to the newspaper’s staff Thursday that it is “simply not true that Jill’s compensation was significantly less than her predecessor’s”.