Jill Abramson NYT Firing Fallout: Pay Disputes, Major Fights and More New Claims

New reports shed light on the cause of New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson’s termination

Last Updated: August 4, 2014 @ 9:53 AM

In the subsequent fallout over the New York Times’ ouster of executive editor Jill Abramson, more information has trickled out about the major shakeup that has shocked the journalism world.

While New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. initially told newsroom staff that she left over “an issue with management in the newsroom,” reports have leaked out that personality conflicts, personnel decisions and a dispute over pay equity played a role in her dismissal.

Also read: Jill Abramson Firing Sparks Media Outrage Over Equal Pay Issue

Here are a few more revelations that have leaked out in the ensuing hours since the announcement:

Dispute between Dean Baquet over her attempt to hire a new editor
Managing Editor Dean Baquet was “angered over a decision by Ms. Abramson to try to hire an editor from The Guardian, Janine Gibson, and install her alongside Mr. Baquet in a co-managing editor position without consulting him.” — NY Times

Giving interviews without consulting company
“She had taken to giving interviews and appearing on panels without consulting the company, a move that rankled Sulzberger, according to two people.” — Bloomberg

Beef with CEO Mark Thompson
“She also had alienated the still relatively new CEO Mark Thompson, who arrived from tenure atop BBC. Thompson was pushing a video-heavy strategy for NYT’s digital push; Abramson feared would be a diversion of time and energy. Thompson also livid that Abramson sent an investigative editor to the UK to see if he had any role in BBC’s brewing child abuse coverup scandal.” — David Folkenflik

Popular editors were shoved out under her leadership

“It wasn’t long into Abramson’s editorship before horror stories began to leak out. From the inside, some friends told me things felt bad; from the outside, they looked pretty crazy. In a power grab over the website (and Jim Roberts, who oversaw it and is now Mashable’s editor-in-chief), Abramson ended NYTimes.com’s independence as its own operation, and the desks began reporting up through print, which digital people will tell you is never welcome. (And is always a bad idea.) Abramson had her allies and fans, of course, but it seemed like a smaller circle than editors usually (and should) have surrounding them — and telling them no. And people like assistant managing editor Rick Berke, who had once been a close confidante, somehow ended up leaving anyway. During buyouts, she shoved out popular editors such as Roberts and Jonathan Landman. Last year, she fired Hugo Lindgren as the editor of the magazine.” — Kate Aurthur, BuzzFeed

Pay disparity dispute
“She found out she was making less than her predecessor Bill Keller as executive editor when she became executive editor. She also found out when she was managing editor, as her predecessor had been before he was promoted, she made less money than he did. She also found out when she was managing editor, one of her deputies made more money than she did.” –Ken Auletta, New Yorker on Morning Joe

Management thought she was pushy
The pay dispute “fed into the management’s narrative that she was ‘pushy.'” –Auletta

“She wasn’t just fired, clearly, because of the pay disparity issue. That fed into a narrative that she was difficult to work with. and then Dean Baquet, her deputy found out and was upset that she was trying to hire someone. He felt he wasn’t in the loop on that and he complained to Arthur Sulzberger, the publisher. so that added again to this narrative that Jill is difficult and so last Friday he went to her and said, ‘time for a change.'” –Auletta on CBS This Morning

Watch Auletta explain why Abramson was fired below: