New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. told his staff in a memo on Thursday that his decision to fire Executive Editor Jill Abramson had nothing to do with pay and that she was not compensated less than her predecessors.
The memo, obtained by the Huffington Post and Politico, was sent following reports that Abramson had approached Times management about compensation not long before her Wednesday firing. The reports indicated she had inquired about being paid less than her predecessor, Bill Keller.
“I am writing to you because I am concerned about the misinformation that has been widely circulating in the media since I announced Jill Abramson’s departure yesterday. I particularly want to set the record straight about Jill’s pay as Executive Editor of The Times,” Sulzberger began the memo.
“It is simply not true that Jill’s compensation was significantly less than her predecessors,” he continued, explaining that Abramson’s 2013 compensation package was larger than Keller’s pay during his last year.
Sulzberger also reiterated that his decision to replace Abramson with managing editor Dean Baquet, now the first black editor of the paper, was due to her newsroom management.
“Compensation played no part whatsoever in my decision that Jill could not remain as executive editor. Nor did any discussion about compensation,” he wrote. “The reason – the only reason – for that decision was concerns I had about some aspects of Jill’s management of our newsroom, which I had previously made clear to her, both face-to-face and in my annual assessment.”