10 Updates

Abramson Gets The Axe, But It's Sulzberger Who Lost His Head

May 16 2014, 4:02pm CDT | by

In 2011, the New York Times lambasted the GOP in an editorial that elevated “The War on Women ” to top billing on the liberal agenda. With this week’s firing of its first female executive...

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10 weeks ago

Abramson Gets The Axe, But It's Sulzberger Who Lost His Head

May 16 2014, 4:02pm CDT | by

In 2011, the New York Times lambasted the GOP in an editorial that elevated “The War on Women ” to top billing on the liberal agenda. With this week’s firing of its first female executive editor, Jill Abramson, the dominant perception is that the Times was throwing stones in a glass house.

The criticism may likely be grossly unfair, given the Times’ sizable roster of female editors (many of whom Abramson brought in); but that doesn’t change the fact that the paper is embroiled in a reputational crisis of its own design.

Now, instead of celebrating the first African-American executive editor in its history, The Paper of Record is fighting allegations that it’s been on the wrong side of the very war it helped define.

The firing of a chief executive seldom goes smoothly where reputation is concerned and it gets all the more complicated when the tenure in question is as short as Abramson’s – and in a business where editors are far more often “reassigned” for a purported managerial deficiency. Here, that deficiency is depicted as a “combative management style.”

There has long been conjecture that Abramson’s approach to running the paper was anything but warm and fuzzy, and it is now evident that her bristly nature did little to endear her to the Times’ staff or publisher Arthur Sulzberger. The situation apparently reached critical mass when Abramson learned she was being (allegedly) paid less than her predecessor and hired a lawyer to help prepare a complaint.

It may have been just the last in a series of episodes that strained the working relationship to the breaking point. Sulzberger needed to anticipate that the fair compensation complaint would serve as a prevailing narrative whenever you jettison someone as well-connected and media-savvy as Abramson.

The fact that he acted on Abramson without much tangible documented evidence of her detrimental impact on the newsroom (the kind of evidence all employers need to provide) only enables that narrative to thrive unchecked. It’s possible the Times’ status as a liberal demigod might have beguiled Sulzberger to believe the paper would be beyond reproach on issues of gender equality.

In fact, the opposite is true. When you make your bones espousing a code of definitive ethics, you’d better live that agenda. Would this story have half the traction had it been a Rupert Murdoch media property accused of discriminatory pay practices?

Significantly, it was the social media – the very media that are squeezing traditional bastions of journalism like the Times – that broke the inequality angle and enhanced its allure. According to Politico , liberal blogs such as Think Progress, Salon, and Vox first reported on Abramson’s frustration with her pay. On Wednesday, both “Abramson” and “New York Times” were trending on Twitter and Abramson’s name has been tweeted more than 19,000 times in just the last 24 hours (as of this writing).

The viral firestorm even reached the U.S. Senate where erstwhile Times ally Harry Reid (D – Nev.) cited Abramson’s plight as a “perfect example, if it’s true, of why we should pass paycheck equity.”

Moving forward, the online onslaught will only compound the challenge ahead for Sulzberger and the Times. After all, what good is that barrel of ink when your audience communicates via, and is influenced by, ones and zeroes?

There are times in every business when a boss must accommodate someone with leverage simply because of optics. Here a lot more is also at stake. Jill Abramson was, by most accounts, effective if not affable. Indeed, it was on her watch that the paper returned to profitability.

Oh, by the way….is it any less socio-politically heretical to find a woman’s “combative management style” more vexatious than a man’s? A man can earn begrudged plaudits, and even respect bordering on affection, for being oh such a tough boss. But that’s a question for another day.

Richard Levick, Esq., is Chairman and CEO of LEVICK , a global strategic communications firm.

 
Update
10

6 weeks ago

RM47mil KWSG contributions still unclaimed

Jun 9 2014 7:54am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

Cambodia's Famous Battambang Circus
KUALA LUMPUR: About RM47 million of contributions in the Teachers Provident Fund (KWSG) still remain unclaimed, the Dewan Rakyat wa ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
9

6 weeks ago

Gold shop lost almost RM1mil

Jun 9 2014 3:50am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

Sydney FC v West Ham United - Football United New Zealand Tour 2014
KANGAR: A gold shop owner lost almost RM1 million after after the safe on in his shop was bro ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
8

6 weeks ago

Motion to debate MAS losses in Dewan Rakyat rejected

Jun 9 2014 3:39am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

Federal Aviation Administration Bans All US Flights To Israel
KUALA LUMPUR: AN emergency motion to debate the losses incurred by Malaysia Airlines last year, amounting to RM1.2 billion was rejected by the Dewan R ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
7

6 weeks ago

MH370 Tragedy: Hisham: RM27.6 mil spent on 1st phase of SAR

Jun 9 2014 2:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia spent some RM27.6 million in its first phase of the search operations for missing Malaysia Airline flight MH370, said Acting Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
6

6 weeks ago

9.1m litres of diesel seized in a month

Jun 8 2014 1:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

INDIA-CHINA-DIPLOMACY-TRADE
PUTRAJAYA: The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives, and Consumerism ministry has seized some 9.1 million litres of diesel and property worth RM58 million since mounting ‘Operasi Diesel Selatan’ in the southern states last month. ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
5

7 weeks ago

Girl, 9, awarded RM2.78m compensation for medical negligence

Jun 6 2014 4:56am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

Government Weekly Cabinet Meeting
KUALA LUMPUR: A nine-year-old girl who suffered brain damage during her birth at a government hospital was awarded over RM2.78 million in compen ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
4

7 weeks ago

Malaysia's total trade in April up 12pc

Jun 5 2014 11:52pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's total trade in April 2014 rose by 12 per cent from a year ago to RM123.86 billion due to growing trading activities, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohame ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
3

7 weeks ago

Works Ministry to spend RM20m for upgrading works at 50 accident black spots

Jun 4 2014 11:35pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

Iskandar Johor Open - Previews
JOHOR BARU: The Works Ministry will implement upgrading works at 50 accident prone locations in the country that have been identified this year involving an allocati ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
2

7 weeks ago

Najib launches loan scheme for Ramadan traders

Jun 4 2014 10:24pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM - Day One
PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today launches RM45 million Ramada ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
1

7 weeks ago

Residents bring up objection against Kidex to Suhakam

Jun 4 2014 4:49am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: A group of 20 Petaling Jaya residents held a meeting with the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) over their objection against the proposed RM2.2 billion Kinrara Damansara S ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 

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