Jill Abramson, New York Times Executive Editor, Replaced by Dean Baquet

Image: Jill Abramson, New York Times Executive Editor, Replaced by Dean Baquet Jill Abramson, left, and Dean Baquet.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014 04:06 PM

By Angela Deines

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The New York Times' Executive Editor Jill Abramson is "unexpectedly" leaving the newspaper and will be replaced by Managing Editor Dean Baquet, the Times said on its website.

Baquet will be the Times’ first African-American editor in the paper’s 160-year history.

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Abramson, 60, the newspaper’s first female executive editor, wasn’t present when publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. made the announcement to staff at 2:30 p.m. EST that Abramson was no longer going to be working at the newspaper.

“I’ve loved my run at The Times,” Abramson said in a statement that was published on the Times’ website. “I got to work with the best journalists in the world doing so much stand-up journalism.”

Sulzberger said there was no other journalist better qualified that Baquet to take over the executive editor responsibilities.

“He is an exceptional reporter and editor with impeccable news judgment who enjoys the confidence and support of his colleagues around the world and across the organization,” he said.

According to Politico, Sulzberger said Abramson's departure was related to "an issue with management in the newsroom," and had nothing to do with the quality of the paper's journalism during her tenure.

She had been the executive editor since 2011, overseeing “a period of impressive journalism and robust digital growth at the Times, even as it was forced to endure buyouts amid declining print revenue,” Dylan Byers wrote for Politico.

Abramson's tenure was also marred by disagreements with Times CEO Mark Thompson, Byers wrote, who took “an unprecedently hands-on approach to managing the paper's editorial resources” and that she “suffered from perceptions among staff that she was condescending and combative, though such criticisms were widely criticized as sexist.”

Previously working for the Wall Street Journal in the 1990s, Abramson joined the Times’ Washington Bureau in 1997, later moving into the bureau chief’s position. She was a managing editor before ascending to executive editor of the Times three years ago.

A Harvard University graduate, Abramson was ranked the 19th most powerful woman and the 68th most powerful person by Forbes magazine.

The Times reported that the reasons for the switch from Abramson to Baquet “were not immediately clear.”

Baquet, 57, is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and a former editor of The Los Angeles Times.

“It is an honor to be asked to lead the only newsroom in the country that is actually better than it was a generation ago,” he said in a statement, “one that approaches the world with wonder and ambition every day.”

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