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
See more stories about...
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.

What We're Following See More »
Clinton Rips Into Trump
2 hours ago

Just a day after Donald Trump called her a bigot, Hillary Clinton delivered a scathing speech tying Trump to the KKK and so-called “alt-right.” This new frontier of debate between the two candidates has emerged at a time when Trump has been seeking to appeal to minority voters, among whom he has struggled to garner support. Calling him “profoundly dangerous,” Clinton didn’t hold back on her criticisms of Trump. “He is taking hate groups mainstream and helping a radical fringe take over the Republican Party,” Clinton said.

Quinnipiac Has Clinton Over 50%
5 hours ago

Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump 51%-41% in a new Quinnipiac poll released today. Her lead shrinks to seven points when the third-party candidates are included. In that scenario, she leads 45%-38%, with Gary Johnson pulling 10% and Jill Stein at 4%.

Trump Not on Ballot in Minnesota
7 hours ago
Chelsea to Stay on Board of Clinton Foundation
7 hours ago

Is the Clinton family backtracking on some of its promises to insulate the White House from the Clinton Foundation? Opposition researchers will certainly try to portray it that way. A foundation spokesman said yesterday that Chelsea Clinton will stay on its board, and that the "foundation’s largest project, the Clinton Health Access Initiative, might continue to accept foreign government and corporate funding."

Navy Calls Iranian Ships’ Actions Dangerous, Unprofessional
8 hours ago

"Four Iranian ships made reckless maneuvers close to a U.S. warship this week, the Pentagon said Thursday, in an incident that officials said could have led to dangerous escalation." The four Iranian vessels engaged in a "high-speed intercept" of a U.S. destroyer in the Strait of Hormuz. A Navy spokesman said the Iranina actions "created a dangerous, harassing situation that could have led to further escalation including additional defensive measures" by the destroyer.