Abramson embraces top NY Times role - and her puppy

Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:54pm EDT
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By Christine Kearney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - As the first female executive editor of The New York Times in the newspaper's 160-year history, Jill Abramson is at the pinnacle of the media world.

But just as she is starting in the top job at the Times, she has a new lighthearted book out about a surprising topic -- her passion for her puppy.

If that seems incongruous for a woman known for serious investigative journalism and now charged with charting the future of "The Gray Lady," Abramson believes her energy raising "Scout" is a perfect counterpoint to the rigors of journalism.

"I don't want to say one is harder than the other. Journalism is something where experience and judgment help you do the right thing," she told Reuters in an interview. "A puppy's behavior is pretty unpredictable and isn't something you can control very easily."

Published this week, "The Puppy Diaries: Raising a Dog Named Scout" continues Abramson's popular 2009 online pet column about the highs and lows of the first year with her English golden retriever. It's a book she feels almost wrote itself before she took up her executive editor job in September.

Abramson, 57, is married with two children and an author of books about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and the women of Harvard Law. Her new book finds her wondering if she would be a fit dog mother again after her previous dog died.

The book mentions some work colleagues and friends who shared her canine passion -- and others who expressed disappointment she agreed to write a dog column after being persuaded by its popularity.

"A part of my life is I am just a dog nut. And most of the people who work with me at the Times know that and doing the online column was fun. I did some real reporting for it," she said. "I had never really written anything that engaged people in such a personal way."   Continued...

<p>New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson poses for a photo during an interview in New York September 21, 2011. REUTERS/Kena Betancur</p>