A new detail has emerged in the he-said, she-said drama that has followed Jill Abramson’s abrupt firing as top editor of the New York Times, confirming rumors that Abramson refused to go quietly and furthering the media-insider narrative of a savage beheading.
According to a New York magazine report, Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. warned Abramson that her job was in jeopardy last Friday. Upon her return to the office Monday morning, he called her to a meeting where she reportedly asked, “Have you reconsidered?”
The answer was no, and Sulzberger urged her to go quietly and peacefully. In what recalls cinematic dialogue of an executioner kindly urging his mark not to resist, Sulzberger told Abramson, “We want to make this as easy as possible for you.”
But Abramson wasn’t interested in the easy route, insisting to Sulzberger, “I’m not going to say I’m stepping down.” And so the announcement of her departure was made to the newsroom on Tuesday, and she was not present.
Abramson, who served for nearly three years as the executive editor of the Times, will be replaced by her managing editor, Dean Baquet. She was the first female top editor at the Times, and the mysterious circumstances behind her firing have sparked widespread speculation that gender disparity is somehow to blame.
But given the amount of information that has leaked to the press in just four days, it feels safe to say the circumstances won’t be a mystery for long.