NYT's Carr on Firing: 'Lack of Decorum Was Stunning'

Column reveals reason for rift between Abramson, Baquet
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 19, 2014 12:37 PM CDT
NYT 's Carr on Firing: 'Lack of Decorum Was Stunning'
Jill Abramson, former executive editor of The New York Times, speaks at the commencement ceremony at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC, May 19, 2014.   (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)

Pity David Carr; it can't be easy to write a media column on the New York Times firing Jill Abramson ... for the New York Times. But that's what Carr did today, and it's illuminating, revealing a possible reason for the ouster. The firing was the most "surreal" moment of his Gray Lady tenure, Carr writes. When Arthur Sulzberger Jr announced it, "we all just looked at one another. How did our workplace suddenly become a particularly bloody episode of Game of Thrones? … The lack of decorum was stunning."

But while Carr liked Abramson, he says that "senior people in the newsroom, some of them women," confirm Sulzberger's accusation that she had "lost the support of her masthead." And Carr reveals what prompted Sulzberger's move: Abramson tried to hire a co-managing editor for the Times' digital endeavors without consulting managing editor Dean Baquet. An incensed Baquet went to Sulzberger threatening to quit, and Sulzberger intervened. Now Baquet's getting Abramson's job. "Almost anybody at the Times will tell you that Dean will make a great leader," Carr writes. "But the sense of pride that we should all feel at his ascension ... has been overwhelmed by the messiness surrounding it." Click for his full column. (More Jill Abramson stories.)

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