The New York Times announced Wednesday that it replaced executive editor Jill Abramson with managing editor Dean Baquet.
In the story the Times filed, publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. said that Abramson leaving was due to a problem with her "management style" and was not a reflection of the quality of the journalism produced during her time at the executive editor's desk. In fact, the paper won four Pulitzer Prizes in 2013 with Abramson running the newsroom.
Abramson’s two-year tenure at the helm of the Times has been the topic of articles in The New Yorker and Forbes, but her personality came into the spotlight notably in Politico’s piece last year, which detailed an altercation between Abramson and Baquet and described Abramson as “bitchy” and “very unpopular.”
Hanna Rosin of Slate chastised Politico’s reporting as “pretty thin” and argued that Abramson was coming under fire because people simply couldn’t handle a woman with her kind of personality. Rosin used the example of Abramson’s predecessor, Bill Keller, who also had a strong personality some had problems with.
“(Keller) was described by his own wife as ‘socially autistic,’ ” Rosin wrote. “But people got past that. They loved him anyway. David Carr, the former drug addict turned larger-than-life columnist, is unimaginable in female form.”
Abramson’s removal is more puzzling given details Vox’s Matt Yglesias reported about what a success the Times was under Abramson’s watch.
Not everyone thinks Abramson’s departure could be black-and-white sexism. Buzzfeed concentrated on a recent report that criticized the Times’ digital performance.
Others, like Abramson supporter and Reuters writer Jack Schafer, speculated that bigger problems at the Times forced Abramson’s departure.
“My guess would be that (Times publisher) Arthur [Sulzberger] Jr. asked @JillAbramson to do something bad for journalism that she didn't want to do,” Schafer tweeted.