Days after the sudden termination of Jill Abramson as executive editor of the New York Times, the first woman to hold that position, the newspaper's publisher denied reports that she had been paid less than her predecessor. "There is no truth to the charge," Arthur Sulzberger Jr told Vanity Fair in a May 18 interview for a story published on Tuesday on the magazine's website.
"A lot of what's out there is untrue," Vanity Fair quoted Sulzberger as saying in what it billed as his first interview since the May 14 announcement of Abramson's ouster, which sparked a firestorm of commentary on women managers in the workplace.
Sulzberger, who appointed Abramson to the job in 2011, said her position on the Times' executive committee had increased her bonus significantly, which according to the Times boosted her overall compensation more than 10% higher than that of her predecessor, Bill Keller, in his last year.
Vanity Fair said Abramson declined to comment on Sulzberger's statements to the magazine. But it said a former Times executive recalled that Abramson had raised objections to her compensation when she took the job and felt there was a discrepancy when compared with Keller's salary, hiring a lawyer to discuss her compensation.
Sulzberger appointed Dean Baquet, Abramson's deputy, as her successor, some three years after choosing Abramson over Baquet for the newspaper's top editorial job. Asked if he would have made a different decision if he knew then what he knows now, the magazine quoted him as having said "Of course I would have done it differently."