New York Times unexpectedly replaces top editor Abramson

Wed May 14, 2014 6:23pm EDT
 
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By Jennifer Saba

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The New York Times Co (NYT.N: Quote) on Wednesday abruptly ousted the newspaper's top editor, Jill Abramson, after less than three years in the job and named managing editor Dean Baquet to replace her.

Abramson, 60, was appointed The New York Times' first woman editor in 2011. Baquet, a Pulitzer prize-winning reporter and former editor of the Los Angeles Times, will become the paper's first African-American editor.

The shakeup, described in the newspaper's online coverage as Abramson's dismissal, is the latest sign of turmoil at the family-controlled New York Times Co (NYT.N: Quote). It has been selling assets, cutting staff and looking for new revenue sources as print advertising revenue declines.

While its shares have stabilized and its latest quarterly earnings exceeded expectations, the Times' business model, like that of other newspapers, remains under pressure.

Sulzberger told stunned staff members on Wednesday the appointment of Baquet "would improve some aspects of the management of the newsroom," according to his remarks obtained by Reuters.

He did not elaborate on what those issues were but said they did not relate to the direction of the journalism or the paper's digital future.

"This is also not about any sort of disagreement between the newsroom and the business side over the critical principle of an independent newsroom," he said.

Abramson, who was not present at the meeting, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.   Continued...

 
Jill Abramson, executive editor of The New York Times, arrives for the State Dinner held for French President Francois Hollande at the White House in Washington February 11, 2014. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts