The announcement, today, that Jill Abramson was departing her job as executive editor of the New York Times prompted much speculation across the media. Abramson, appointed in 2011, had enjoyed a relatively brief tenure and one riven by nasty, critical coverage, particularly in Politico. Howard Kurtz, a Fox News media reporter, noted that there’s “Gotta be a backstory there.”
Ken Auletta of the New Yorker has reported on Abramson in the past, and today reports that there indeed was: that Abramson recently learned her pay package was not commensurate with that of her predecessor, Bill Keller, and sought parity. Auletta reports: “‘She confronted the top brass,’ one close associate said, and this may have fed into the management’s narrative that she was ‘pushy,’ a characterization that, for many, has an inescapably gendered aspect.” The counterargument to Abramson’s pay request, predictably, is that ownership did not want to outlay more money in a difficult time for print media, but in an update, Auletta notes that a deputy of Abramson’s, a man, made more money than she did while she was managing editor.
Keep this in mind the next time the almighty New York Times starts castigating somebody else for “inequality.”
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