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The New York Times suddenly announced this afternoon that Jill Abramson is out as the paper’s executive editor. She was immediately replaced with Dean Baquet.
“I’ve loved my run at The Times,” Abramson, the Times’ first female executive editor, said in a statement. “I got to work with the best journalists in the world doing so much stand-up journalism.”
Times publisher and New York Times Company chairman Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. praised Baquet as the perfect successor to Abramson.
“He is an exceptional reporter and editor with impeccable news judgment who enjoys the confidence and support of his colleagues around the world and across the organization,” Sulzberger told editors during a meeting in the conference room Wednesday afternoon.
The decision came as a complete surprise to the Times staff. Although the paper said that it was not clear why Abramson is leaving, sources for Politico claim that she was fired. She reportedly clashed with Times CEO Mark Thompson, despite her accomplishments leading the paper. Abramson helped the Times grow in the digital world after taking the job in September 2011.
Baquet is a Pulitzer Prize winner and will be the first African American to be the executive editor of the Times.
“It is an honor to be asked to lead the only newsroom in the country that is actually better than it was a generation ago, one that approaches the world with wonder and ambition every day,” Baquet said.