Investors Don’t Seem to Be Happy About Jill Abramson Leaving the New York Times

She will be replaced by managing editor Dean Baquet, who was previously the editor of the Los Angeles Times.

National Journal
John Mcduling, Quartz
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John McDuling, Quartz
May 14, 2014, 11:47 a.m.

Just when it looked like the New York Times Com­pany was fi­nally get­ting its act to­geth­er“¦ a huge per­son­nel change comes along to shake things up com­pletely.

The com­pany be­hind the “Grey Lady” an­nounced on its own web­site today (pay­wall) that its ex­ec­ut­ive ed­it­or, Jill Ab­ramson, is “un­ex­pec­tedly” leav­ing. She will be re­placed by man­aging ed­it­or Dean Baquet, who was pre­vi­ously the ed­it­or of the Los Angeles Times.

In­vestors don’t seem to be tak­ing kindly to the news. The stock price had been un­der pres­sure be­fore the an­nounce­ment, but was at ses­sion lows at the time of writ­ing; it is down about 4.4% today, wip­ing out its gains for the year so far.

There is a massive amount of spec­u­la­tion on so­cial me­dia at the mo­ment as to why the shock de­par­ture is tak­ing place. Here is one of the NYT’s own re­port­ers on the mat­ter:

The change was at­trib­uted, by Ar­thur Sulzber­ger Jr, to “an is­sue with man­age­ment in the news­room”. No fur­ther de­tails yet. —
Ravi So­maiya (@rav­i­so­maiya) May 14, 2014

The Times’ own Twit­ter list of its staffers is also worth fol­low­ing, if you like ob­sess­ing about this kind of thing.

Earli­er this month, Ar­thur Gregg Sulzber­ger, the son of the com­pany’s chair­man, had led an in­nov­a­tion re­port in­to ways the news­room op­er­ates. It’s not yet clear wheth­er this was in any way re­lated.

Ab­ramson has been in the top edit­ing po­s­i­tion at the times since late 2011. One of her four tat­toos is a let­ter “T” in the news­pa­per’s font, on her back.

It’s also worth not­ing that she is not the only top ed­it­or that has been ous­ted today. The ed­it­or-in-chief of France’s top newpspa­pers, Le Monde, Nat­alie Nou­gayrède, also quit today, after a long-run­ning news­room con­flict over changes she was try­ing to in­tro­duce.

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