Coming up

Don't miss




Kenya : Police arrest 8 over Mombasa rampage

Read more


Overfishing and the global appetite for bluefin tuna: can Tokyo turn the tide?

Read more


Too many graphic images from Gaza ?

Read more


Who's next in Paris, an event with international ready-to-wear and fashion accessories collections

Read more


Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more


Muslims and Christians clean up Bangui, and violence spirals out of control in Algeria's Gardaia

Read more


Is there such thing as 'telegenic' victims of war?

Read more


2014-07-22 07:21 IN THE FRENCH PRESS

Read more


Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director

Read more

  • French Jews mourn French-Israeli soldier killed in Gaza

    Read more

  • Video: Lebanon fears fallout from regional turmoil

    Read more

  • Australian veteran Rogers claims 16th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Five children among six killed in minibus crash in central France

    Read more

  • Israel identifies ‘missing’ soldier in Gaza

    Read more

  • Hollande says French warship delivery will ‘depend on Russia’s attitude’

    Read more

  • Colombia's Rodriguez signs '€80m' contract with Real Madrid

    Read more

  • Ukraine rebels release bodies, black boxes from flight MH17

    Read more

  • A call for harmony in riot-hit ‘Little Jerusalem’ Paris suburb

    Read more

  • Widodo wins Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

  • An ‘explosion of violence’: French press reacts to Gaza protests

    Read more

  • Notorious ‘VIP’ prison in Paris closed for renovations

    Read more

  • Christians in Iraq's Mosul face execution or exodus

    Read more

  • Scores killed as Libyan militias fight over airport

    Read more

  • Ukraine football players refuse to return home after friendly in France

    Read more

  • China steps up communist education to guard against ‘moral decline’

    Read more


Abrupt New York Times ouster sparks confusion

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-05-15

The New York Times abruptly replaced executive editor Jill Abramson on Wednesday, announcing that Dean Baquet would immediately take her place, but gave little explanation for the sudden switch as she was "all but hustled out of the building".

Abramson (pictured left) was the paper’s first female chief and Baquet (right) becomes the first African American to hold the post.

The sudden departure, announced by the daily's publisher, Arthur Sulzberger, left many questions unanswered both inside and outside one of the US's most prestigious news organisations.

The Times website initially reported that the “reasons for the switch were not immediately clear" but later updated its story to say that Abramson's ouster was due to "growing tension between Ms. Abramson and Mr. Sulzberger, and a decision by Ms. Abramson to try to hire a senior editor from outside the newspaper to share a co-managing editor title with Mr. Baquet".

The report acknowledged "a swirl of rumours" sparked by the initial lack of information.

Shares of The New York Times Co. dropped 4.5 percent to $15.06 following the announcement.

Northeastern University journalism professor Dan Kennedy said the departure appeared irregular. "This was definitely not a normal change," Kennedy told AFP.

"Abramson did not address the staff and was all but hustled out of the building."

Dan Gillmor, a journalism faculty member at Arizona State University, also expressed scepticism.

"If top exec in any other important industry left under mysterious circumstances, @NYTimes would launch a team of reporters to find out why," he tweeted.

“We don't know if she jumped or was pushed but the meagre information available suggests the latter,” Alan Mutter, a former newspaper editor who is now a consultant, told AFP.

Ken Auletta of the New Yorker magazine wrote that one of the reasons Abramson had clashed with Sulzberger was over pay.

"Several weeks ago, I’m told, Abramson 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," he said.

Times tattoo

Abramson was appointed to head the 160-year-old paper in 2011, and led it in a period during which it was seen as having weathered the transition to digital better than many competitors.

"We successfully blazed trails on the digital frontier and we have come so far in inventing new forms of storytelling," she said in a statement from the paper confirming her replacement.

"Our masthead became half female for the first time and so many great women hold important newsroom positions."

Before taking the top job, the now 60-year-old journalist had been an investigative reporter for the rival Wall Street Journal and then the head of the Times' Washington bureau from 1997.

She acknowledged in an interview last month that she had four tattoos, including a "T" representing the Times.

Her replacement, Baquet, is a 57-year-old newspaper veteran and former editor of the Los Angeles Times.

‘Significant effort to digital transition’

Last year, The New York Times boasted the largest daily and Sunday circulation of any seven-day newspaper in the United States, with a weekday circulation of 1,926,800 print and online versions.

According to the company's 2013 annual statement, the firm had an annual turnover of $1.57 billion.

But like many dailies, the "grey lady" of US journalism has struggled with the move away from print.

The Times has been hit by declining print sales and advertising. In a major shift last year it took in more revenue from readers than from advertising, although that trend seemed to have revered this year – in April the paper reported an almost 3 percent rise in first quarter total revenue on increases in advertising sales.

The company sold off The Boston Globe and other regional newspapers in 2013 to focus on its core operations, and also divested other assets, including its stake in an online employment website.

The company brought in former BBC chief Mark Thompson, who became president and chief executive at the Times in 2012, as part of its effort to manage a digital transition.

In a memo to staff, Sulzberger said the change comes "at a time when the newsroom is about to embark on a significant effort to transition more fully to a digital-first reality".


Date created : 2014-05-15