New York Times Publisher: ‘I’m Not Sexist. She Was a Bad Manager.’

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By Shawn Paul Wood Comment

New York Times Cities For Tomorrow Conference - Cocktail Reception

It would be a sweet picture, if — you know — that didn’t hate each other so much.

Last week, the publishing world stood still for a moment when it learned that 17-year publication veteran and three-year executive editor of The New York Times, Jill Abramson (pictured above and left), was shown the door. And fast. (Followed by another classy headline from the New York Post.)

Her claim: Sexism.

In short, she was she was sorely underpaid for decades. Granted, no one is feeling bad for her when she made $425,000, but when your predecessor made in the sixes, you have room to gripe. She did, namely in the direction of her boss and publisher (also pictured above and right), Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. And now, he’s fighting back. 

There are always two sides to every story, which means the truth is ostensibly somewhere in the middle. The intersection of these two claims are somewhere between misogynistic dinosaur and bra-burning tyrant. Sulzberger was interviewed by Bloomberg, in which, he says Abramson was fired because she needed to work on her people skills:

“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 said in a statement released [Saturday].

NYT VerticalWhile he penned that sentiment sobbing every moment, he also shared his personal angst with the desolation of smaug or whatever…

“I discussed these issues with Jill herself several times and warned her that, unless they were addressed, she risked losing the trust of both masthead and newsroom.”

Of course, we couldn’t leave without the claims of equal pay for equal work. Sulzberger also had something to say there, and it was basically that Abramson was full of crap.

Sulzberger shared that her compensation package “was more than 10 percent higher” in her last year as executive editor, Bill Keller. “Equal pay for women is an important issue in our country,” Sulzberger wrote. “But it doesn’t help to advance the goal of pay equality to cite the case of a female executive whose compensation was not in fact unequal.”

This story is far from over because slow news days, so expect more mudslinging and masthead malarkey. Goooooooooo news!

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