Jill Abramson - another woman falls off the ‘glass cliff’

The New York Times’ firing of Jill Abramson, its erstwhile Executive Editor, was unusual not only for its abruptness but also for the fact that the >newspaper’s own report of her ouster on Wednesday appeared to lack firm details on the reasons for the change.

This prompted observations that there were likely to be “serious management conflicts between Abramson on one side, and [her successor and first ever African-American in the role] Dean Baquet and [NYT Publisher and Chairman Arthur] Sulzberger on the other side.”

Although the Times reported that Mr. Sulzberger had told “a stunned newsroom that had been quickly assembled that he had made the decision because of ‘an issue with management in the newsroom,’” speculation was rife that it was because Ms. Abramson “confronted the top brass” over possible pay and pension benefits discrimination between herself and her predecessor Bill Keller that she was fired.

Allegations of workplace sexism at the venerable voice of liberal America suggested that another factor at play was Ms. Abramson’s attempt to bring on board Janine Gibson, Editor-in-Chief of the Guardian U.S., as a Joint Managing Editor, to serve alongside Mr. Baquet.

The NYT hinted that Ms. Abramson had “clashes” with Mr. Baquet over this and that Mr. Sulzberger was “concerned about complaints from employees that she was polarising and mercurial.”

Also the proposal to hire Ms. Gibson “escalated the conflict between them and rose to the attention of Mr. Sulzberger.”

Although when Ms. Abramson was appointed in September 2011 she said that it was “meaningful” that a woman had been appointed to run the newsroom of an influential newspaper, her removal was described by some as an example of women falling off the “glass cliff” of senior journalistic positions.

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Printable version | Jun 18, 2021 2:05:52 PM |

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