New York Times CEO Mark Thompson maintained in a letter published Friday that the termination of former executive editor Jill Abramson was not due to salary and then made a surprise claim.
“Despite all you may have read or heard, Jill’s compensation was in fact greater than Bill Keller’s,” Thompson wrote, in a letter. “Nor is it true that Jill’s unhappiness with her compensation was a factor [in her firing].”
Earlier this week, reports circulated around the Internet that Abramson’s abrupt termination was due to salary. Abramson had become upset when she learned that her predecessor, a male, was paid more, the reports said.
The company has adamantly denied those reports.
A person with direct knowledge of discussions relating to Abramson’s removal added to the Times that she was offered a more gentle departure, but she declined. The Times source said the paper’s first female executive editor wanted to make it clear that she was fired.
The Times also reacted to a leaked report painting a dire picture for the country’s paper of record.
“The report calls for us to move with urgency,” newly appointed executive Dean Baquet wrote in a Friday memo. “I couldn’t agree more.”
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