Reported by Nigel Boys
Former executive editor of the New York Times, Jill Abramson, has shown the utmost level of diplomacy by not criticizing her former employers, fellow co-workers, or the paper’s publisher, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., even though she was fired from her position quite suddenly.
During a commencement address at Wake Forest University this week, the 6o-year-old New York native told the graduates that she had enjoyed her position at the newspaper since September 2011, and she felt honored to have held the position of executive editor.
Abramson then went on to tell the students about the importance of being able to bounce back when things go wrong in life and related some of her own experiences with her recent termination from the job.
Although some have suggested that Abramson might sue the New York Times because there were rumors that she did not receive the same salary as Bill Keller, the man she replaced in 2011, she has not mentioned that she is in any way dissatisfied with her past employment.
However, those rumors may not have any merit, Abramson had received payment not only in line with her predecessor, but a full 10 percent more during her last year of service with the company, according to a statement from Sulzberger. He added that the only reason she had been let go, was that she had lost the support of her colleagues, but he didn’t elaborate on that.
One graduating student jokingly asked Abramson if she would have her tattoo with the newspaper’s logo removed now that she had lost her position. She replied that she would keep the tattoo as a remembrance of her happy times at the NYT.
The former executive editor’s advice to the students included a humorous reference to her recent past. “You know the sting of losing. Or not getting something you badly want. When that happens, show what you are made of,” she said.
As for what’s next for Abramson, she admitted that she hasn’t yet decided. However, she did say that she would remain involved in journalism because that’s the work she loves and it would always remain a big part of her life. She added, in that way, she was similar to the students in front of her, who were excited about their prospects, but didn’t know what came next.