Ousted New York Times editor Jill Abramson's salary 'was $100,000 less than one male counterpart and fell behind those of male colleagues for 14 years'
- Abramson was abruptly fired on Wednesday after having a lawyer look into pay discrepancies
- New reports reveal Bill Keller, the executive editor she took over for in 2011, was paid $559,000 when he left and her starting salary was $475,000
- Her salary was eventually increased to $503,000
- When she complained after learning that it was less than her male predecessor, it was increased to $525,000
- Comes hours after The Times published put out a statement saying it was 'simply not true that Jill's compensation was significantly less'
- She later learned she had also been paid less than her male colleagues in her two prior posts as co-managing editor and Washington bureau chief
By MEGHAN KENEALLY
PUBLISHED: 07:54 EST, 16 May 2014 | UPDATED: 09:52 EST, 16 May 2014
Fired: Jill Abramson was paid significantly less than her male counterparts for the past 13 years
The recently-ousted executive editor of The New York Times had been paid more than a hundred thousand dollars less throughout her career at the paper than her male counterparts, new reports reveal today.
Jill Abramson's unexpected removal from the paper of record came as a shock to many and once speculation began to swirl that she had raised concerns about gender pay discrepancies before her firing, the owner of The Times tried to dismiss those claims by saying that she was paid more than her male predecessor- a statement that has now been proven untrue.
Bill Keller was the paper's executive editor from July 2003 until he resigned and Abramson replaced him in September 2011. Her starting salary at that point was $475,000 while Keller's salary in 2011, after eight years as editor, was $559,000.
The New Yorker reports that her salary was raised at some point in the past three years to $503,000 and then when she complained about the discrepancy recently, it was raised again to $525,000- but that still left her $34,000 short of Keller's final salary.
This is a direct contradiction to what Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr, said in a public statement that he released to attempt to tamper the fires once word got out that pay discrepancy was a factor in Abramson's dismissal.
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Succession plan: Bill Keller (right) left the executive editor spot in September 2011 and Abramson (center) replaced him- though she was paid nearly $85,000 less at the time. Dean Baquet (left) has since replaced her
'Her pay is comparable to that of earlier executive editors. In fact, in 2013, her last full year in the role, her total compensation package was more than 10% higher than that of her predecessor, Bill Keller, in his last full year as Executive Editor, which was 2010,' Sulzberger said in the statement.
'It was also higher than his total compensation in any previous year.'
TIMELINE OF TIMES PAY: MORE THAN A DECADE OF DISCREPANCIES
December 2000: Jill Abramson becomes the Washington bureau chief, taking over after Phil Taubman. He was reportedly paid at least $100,000 more than she was
July 2003: Abramson and John Geddes were appointed as co-managing editors by Bill Keller, who had just been appointed as the paper's executive editor. Abramson earned $398,000 which was less than Geddes, though it is unclear how much he earned
September 2011: Keller stepped down and Abramson took his place, making her the first female executive editor of the paper. Keller's salary was $559,000 at the time and Abramson's starting salary was $475,000
If The New Yorker's figures are true, Sulzberger's statement is factually incorrect.
Behind closed doors before her dismissal, Abramson was reportedly angered further when she later discovered that the pay discrepancy did not just start when she reached the top of the masthead.
She learned that she consistently earned less than her male counterparts when she was both managing editor and the Washington bureau chief.
As managing editor, she earned $398,000 which the New Yorker reports is less than what John Geddes, her male co-managing editor, earned.
Phil Taubman was paid at least $100,000 more than Abramson when he served as Washington bureau chief before she did from 2000 to 2003.
These figures, reported late Thursday by The New Yorker's media reporter Ken Auletta, contradict what Sulzberger Jr said in the public statement that he released to attempt to tamper the fires once word got out that pay discrepancy was a factor in Abramson's dismissal.
'It is simply not true that Jill’s compensation was significantly less than her predecessors,' he said in the statement released Thursday afternoon, one day after he announced the removal of Abramson.
The Times' spokeswoman Eileen Murphy has made the point repeatedly that the editors' compensation levels cannot be looked at as one solitary figure because the editors also receive bonuses, stock grants, and unspecified long-term incentives.
#pushy: Recently canned New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson is using her newly discovered free time to take up boxing...and to fuel rumors she was fired for being #pushy with this Instagram photo posted by her daughter
According to The New Yorker reporter Ken Auletta, Ms Murphy 'conceded' that Abramson's recent decision to hire a lawyer to look into the discrepancy issue did play a role in her firing- not because of the famously-liberal company's lack of dedication to equal pay but because 'it was part of a pattern'.
Sulzberger has consistently tried to paint the firing as a result of conflicting management styles- Abramson's allegedly being too brusque and, as quoted in one report, 'pushy', as opposed to her replacement Dean Baquet who is known for being well-liked in the newsroom and more approachable than his female predecessor.
'IT IS SIMPLY NOT TRUE': NYT PUBLISHER ARTHUR SULZBERGER JR. ASSERTS THAT ABRAMSON WAS PAID MORE THAN KELLER IN STATEMENT
Memo from Arthur Sulzberger Jr. obtained by POLITICO
I am writing to you because I am concerned about the misinformation that has been widely circulating in the media since I announced Jill Abramson’s departure yesterday. I particularly want to set the record straight about Jill’s pay as Executive Editor of The Times.
Pushback: NYT publisher Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. has already swung back with a Thursday memo to employees that said not only was Abramson not paid less than her male predecessor, but was compensated more
It is simply not true that Jill’s compensation was significantly less than her predecessors. Her pay is comparable to that of earlier executive editors. In fact, in 2013, her last full year in the role, her total compensation package was more than 10% higher than that of her predecessor, Bill Keller, in his last full year as Executive Editor, which was 2010. It was also higher than his total compensation in any previous year.
Comparisons between the pensions of different executive editors are difficult for several reasons. Pensions are based upon years of service with the Company. Jill’s years of service were significantly fewer than those of many of her predecessors. Secondly, as you may know, pension plans for all managers at The New York Times were frozen in 2009. But this and all other pension changes at the Company have been applied without any gender bias and Jill was not singled out or differentially disadvantaged in any way.
Compensation played no part whatsoever in my decision that Jill could not remain as executive editor. Nor did any discussion about compensation. The reason — the only reason — for that decision was concerns I had about some aspects of Jill’s management of our newsroom, which I had previously made clear to her, both face-to-face and in my annual assessment.
This Company is fully committed to equal treatment of all its employees, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation or any other characteristic. We are working hard to live up to that principle in every part of our organization. I am satisfied that we fully lived up to that commitment with regard to Jill.
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