Jill Abramson “is unexpectedly leaving the position” as executive editor of The New York Times, the Times announced Wednesday. Dean Baquet will be the new executive editor, Ravi Somaiya reports. “The reasons for the switch were not immediately clear,” Somaiya reports. Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. attributed the change to “an issue with management in the newsroom,” Somaiya wrote on Twitter. Abramson will not stay on at the paper in any capacity, a Times spokesperson tells Poynter in an email.
Abramson became the Times’ executive editor in 2011. She is five years away from being 65, the age at which Times executive editors traditionally must retire. On Monday Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan noted that under Abramson, “not only is the top editor a woman – the first — but many department heads and section editors are, too.” Baquet will be newspaper’s first African American top editor. Abramson in 2010. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini) Here’s the Times Co. press release. Here’s Sulzberger’s memo to staff:
I am writing to announce a leadership change in the newsroom. Effective today, Dean Baquet will become our new executive editor, succeeding Jill Abramson.
This appointment comes at a time when the newsroom is about to embark on a significant effort to transition more fully to a digital-first reality and where, across the organization, we are all learning to adapt to the rapid pace of change in our business.
We owe Jill an enormous debt of gratitude for positioning the newsroom to succeed on both of these critical counts and of course, for preserving and extending the level of our journalistic excellence and innovation. She’s laid a great foundation on which I fully expect Dean and his colleagues will build.
As those of you who know Dean will understand, he is uniquely suited to this role. He is a proven manager, both here at The Times and elsewhere. He is also a consummate journalist whose reputation as a fierce advocate for his reporters and editors is well-deserved. And importantly, he is an enthusiastic supporter of our push toward further creativity in how we approach the digital expression of our journalism.
I know you will join me, Mark and the rest of the senior leadership team in wishing Jill the best and congratulating Dean on his appointment.
Stunned newsroom. pic.twitter.com/dooXpAHJoR— David Gelles (@dgelles) May 14, 2014
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 NYT newsroom gathers to hear the news that executive editor Jill Abramson is being replaced by Dean Baquet pic.twitter.com/nNIsiJtU1v— stuart emmrich (@StuartEmmrichNY) May 14, 2014
Sulzberger praised Baquet’s “passion for journalism… a fierce loyalty to the editors and reporters he leads” and his “competitive spirit.”— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) May 14, 2014
Everyone gob-smacked in NYT newsroom over Jill Abramson leaving and Dean Baquet taking over— Patricia Cohen (@PatcohenNYT) May 14, 2014
The New York Times has already updated its masthead pic.twitter.com/2ycEzYfTAh— HuffPostBiz (@HuffPostBiz) May 14, 2014