Abramson to Replace Keller as The Times Executive Editor

May 30, 2011
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May 30 – June 5, 2011 Edition Abramson to Replace Keller as The Times Executive Editor

NEW YORK, NY/AUTHORLINK NEWS/ June 2, 2011–Jill Abramson, a former investigative reporter and Washington bureau chief for The New York Times, has been named the paper’s executive editor, succeeding Bill Keller, who is stepping down to become a full-time writer for the paper.

As managing editor since 2003, Ms. Abramson has been one of Mr. Keller’s two top deputies overseeing the entire newsroom. Her appointment was announced on Thursday by Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the paper’s publisher and the chairman of The New York Times Company. The move was accompanied by another prominent management shift at The Times. Dean Baquet, the Washington bureau chief, will become the new managing editor, marking the first time in eight years that the paper’s top newsroom positions have turned over. He was previously the editor of The Los Angeles Times.

The appointments are effective Sept. 6. John M. Geddes will continue in his role as managing editor for news operations.

Mr. Keller, who ran the newsroom during eight years of great journalistic distinction but also declining revenue and cutbacks throughout the industry, said that with a formidable combination in place to succeed him, he felt it was a good time to step aside.

“Jill and Dean together is a powerful team,” he said. “Jill’s been my partner in keeping The Times strong through years of tumult. At her right hand she will have someone who ran a great American newspaper, and ran it through tough times. That’s a valuable skill to have.”

Mr. Sulzberger said he accepted Mr. Keller’s resignation “with mixed emotions.”

“He’s been my partner for the last eight years,” Mr. Sulzberger said in an interview, adding that the decision to leave was entirely Mr. Keller’s. “He’s been an excellent partner. And we’ve grown together. If that’s where his heart is and his head is, then you have to embrace that.”

Ms. Abramson will be the first woman to be editor in the paper’s 160-year history. “It’s meaningful to me,” she said of that distinction, adding, “You stand on the shoulders of those who came before you, and I couldn’t be prouder to be standing on Bill’s shoulders.”

Her selection is something of a departure for The Times, an institution that has historically chosen executive editors who have ascended the ranks through postings in overseas bureaus and managing desks like Foreign or Metropolitan.

Ms. Abramson came to The Times in 1997 from The Wall Street Journal, where she was a deputy bureau chief and an investigative reporter for nine years. She rose quickly at The Times, becoming Washington editor in 1999 and then bureau chief in 2000.

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