New York Times Publisher Defends Abramson Firing

New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger cited Jill Abramson's management style as the reason behind the executive editor's firing this week.

New York Times Publisher Defends Abramson Firing
Flickr / Alexander Torenegra

The New York Times' publisher is defending his firing of executive editor Jill Abramson and pushing back against charges of gender discrimination.


In the statement tweeted by a New York Times reporter, publisher Arthur Sulzberger said there has been "persistent but incorrect reports that Jill's compensation package was not comparable with her predecessor's. This is untrue." 

Sulzberger then claims he fired Abramson for her "arbitrary decision-making, a failure to consult and bring colleagues with her, inadequate communication and the public mistreatment of colleagues." (Via Capital Public Radio)

Earlier this week, The New Yorker's Ken Auletta reported an $84,000 difference between Abramson's starting salary and her predecessor, Bill Keller's, salary when he left in 2011. Sulzberger's claim that Abramson ended up better compensated suggests stock options and benefits might have actually tipped the scales in her favor.

It's worth noting that in Abramson's previous roles with the Times, her male counterparts had often been paid more. As for charges of Abramson's "public mistreatment of colleagues," some of her supporters have wondered if the NYT's former editor would face the same criticism if she were not a woman.

Susan Glasser at Politico wrote that Abramson was "unceremoniously dumped" by the Times after she "had watched with dismay over the last year as any legitimate questions about her tenure were subordinated to tiresome, trite and utterly sexist debates over her 'temperament' and whether it was the right one for a newsroom leader."

And NewYorker.com's executive editor reacted to Sulzberger's Saturday statement with this Tweet, wondering "If men feel humiliated when women managers publicly criticize them ... is that the woman's management failure?"

So far Abramson has made no comment on the Sulzberger's statement, but her daughter posted this Instagram photo Friday saying "The story isn't over, not even close."