New York Times Denies Reports That Jill Abramson Was Paid Less Than Her Male Predecessor
A few hours after Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. made the surprise announcement he "chose to appoint a new leader" and replace Abramson with managing editor Dean Baquet Wednesday afternoon, the New Yorker's Ken Auletta reported her departure was preceded by a confrontation over her compensation. Auletta wrote that an unnamed "close associate" of Abramson said she "discovered that her pay and her pension benefits as both executive editor and, before that, as managing editor were considerably less than the pay and pension benefits of Bill Keller, the male editor whom she replaced in both jobs." After this revelation, Auletta said the associate claimed Abramson "confronted the top brass."
However, New York Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy disputed this account.
Auletta claimed other Times staffers were concerned about the pay disparity between Abramson and Keller. He said it brought up "ugly memories" of a 1974 lawsuit female employees made against the paper due to allegations of sex discrimination in hiring, pay and promotion.
NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik subsequently confirmed Auletta's report. Folkenflik also noted unspecified "figures at Times wonder what role gender ultimately played in (Abramson's) ouster."
Both Folkenflik and Auletta cited other factors behind Abramson's exit from the Times. Auletta said Sulzberger had a "frustration" with Abramson that was "growing" due to her clahses with the company's CEO over advertising and her push to hire a deputy managing editor to oversee the paper's web properties. Folkenflik also cited her clashes with the CEO, a perceived "rudeness," and her relatively high profile, which he said Sulzberger "didn't love."