The abrupt departure Wednesday of New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson remains cloaked in some mystery. Ken Auletta, the venerable media writer for The New Yorker, surmises that a dispute arose when Abramson discovered she was earning quite a bit less than her predecessor. There were also disputes with new CEO Mark Thompson and over some hirings. In any event, the Times was itself not reporting what had happened, although public editor Margaret Sullivan appears to dismiss the pay equity issue and promises to have more information shortly.
In recent weeks The New York Times had produced a report on innovation at the organization that paints a very mixed picture of a newsroom that has a storied culture intersecting with its digital ambitions. The report, which concluded the Times was not moving with enough urgency into digital, was the product of a team led by the publisher's son. BuzzFeed acquired the report and posted it.
Somewhat lost in the Abramson firing was the resignation of Le Monde editor Natalie Nougayrède following disputes with her editors. Nicola Demorand, editor of Liberation, also stepped aside. The Economist examines the disproportionate changeover at the top of leading French papers in recent years and what is behind it.