Despite not being eligible for her New York Times pension benefits for another two years, Janet Robinson got paid the full amount — about $10.9 million — as part of her severance package. That’s in addition to the $4.5 million “consulting fee” she’s getting paid next year.
According to Reuters, the latest rumor explaining why Robinson suddenly left the Times is that Arthur Sulzberger Jr. didn’t like how much she was putting herself in the spotlight lately; sources said that Sulzberger saw it as “an unwelcome power grab.”
Hopefully that’s not the real reason. One would think that Sulzberger is a little more confident in himself than to let something like that get in the way of what was a great business relationship. The Times was doing well under their collective guidance, it’d be a shame if that’s all it took to end it.
No matter what factors were behind her departure, the news about Robinson’s big payday is going to ruffle even more feathers. The Times just bought out a slew of veteran staffers and is about to sell off 16 regional papers. Giving a huge payout to Robinson — which seems a little like hush money to us — is bad form. However, we’re guessing Robinson feels okay about it.