WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — In her first public appearance since her dismissal from The New York Times, former executive editor Jill Abramson compared herself to a new college graduate: ‘‘scared but also a little excited.’’
‘‘What’s next for me? I don’t know. So I’m in exactly the same boat as many of you,’’ Abramson told the Class of 2014 at Wake Forest University’s graduation ceremony on Monday, to laughs and applause.
The Times announced last week that Abramson was being replaced by managing editor Dean Baquet. Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. has denied reports that Abramson’s dismissal had to do with complaints over unequal pay or the company’s treatment of women. Instead, he cited Abramson’s newsroom management style.
In her speech, Abramson focused on a theme of resilience, talking briefly about her time at the helm of The New York Times but not directly addressing her dismissal. She said that she didn’t want the ‘‘media circus’’ following her to take attention away from the graduates.
‘‘It was the honor of my life to lead the newsroom,’’ she said, describing the risks Times journalists take to report the news.
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