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Sulzberger denies gender player role in Abramson’s firing

Former New York Times managing editor Jill Abramson.

Juston Lane/EPA/File 2007

Former New York Times managing editor Jill Abramson.

NEW YORK — Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the publisher of The New York Times, released a statement Saturday afternoon detailing his decision to fire the newspaper’s executive editor, Jill Abramson, and responding to a growing controversy over accusations by Abramson’s supporters that gender played a role in her dismissal.

The decision to remove her, which was announced Wednesday, “has been cast by many as an example of the unequal treatment of women in the workplace,” he wrote. Instead, the statement said, it “was a situation involving a specific individual who, as we all do, has strengths and weaknesses.”

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A pattern of behavior, he wrote, including “arbitrary decision-making, a failure to consult and bring colleagues with her, inadequate communication and the public mistreatment of colleagues” was behind his decision. Though Sulzberger, who is also chairman of The New York Times Co., wanted Abramson to succeed, the statement said, he concluded that “she had lost the support of her masthead colleagues and could not win it back.” She was replaced by the New York Times’ managing editor, Dean Baquet.

Abramson has not responded to messages seeking comment since her ouster. But a message appeared this week on the Instagram account of her daughter, Dr. Cornelia Griggs. “Big thank you to all the #pushy #bossy #polarizing women and men who get it,” Griggs wrote. “The story isn’t over, not even close.”

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