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Posts Tagged ‘Janet Robinson’

Arthur Sulzberger Jr.: ‘The Question is, Am I Doing a Bad Job of Picking Leaders for the New York Times?’

VanityFairLogoThe statement in the headline was volunteered Sunday by Sulzberger during his first post-Ambramson interview with Vanity Fair‘s Sarah Ellison. When she asked him what the terminations of Jill Abramson in 2014, president/CEO Janet Robinson in 2011 and executive editor Howell Raines in 2004 signify, the New York Times publisher chose to read between her interview lines. He goes on to answer his own question with, “I don’t think so.”

This is the second time Ellison has interviewed Sulzberger for the magazine; the first was for the 2010 cover story “Two Men and a Newsstand.” She reminds off the top that the framed Winston Churchill quote in Sulzberger’s office is incorrect and later, ponders a strange metaphor from the 62-year-old publisher about not wanting to wait to cut off the other arm after the first arm has been chopped.

Ellison covered a lot of solid ground during Sunday’s interview with a series of well thought-out questions. Sulzberger’s answer to this one suggests Abramson ultimately may have been undone by changing Times:

When I pointed out that other executive editors of the Times had possessed the very traits that some have attributed to Abramson —that she could be aloof or autocratic — he countered that times had changed. Sure, he said, Abe Rosenthal, who edited the Times through the Pentagon Papers and Watergate, was famously difficult. Rosenthal could also focus simply on gathering and publishing the news.

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New York Times Names Mark Thompson CEO

Mark Thompson has been named the new president and CEO of The New York Times Company. Thompson is the outgoing director general of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), a position he has held since 2004. Aside from a two year stint as CEO of Britain’s Channel 4, Thompson has been with the BBC since he came aboard as a production trainee in 1979.

In a statement, Arthur Sulzberger, chairman of the Times Company, said Thompson is “a gifted and experienced executive with strong credentials whose leadership at the BBC helped it to extend its trusted brand identity into new digital products and services.”

So ends the search for someone to replace Janet Robinson, who departed the Times in December of last year. Now comes the hard part for Thompson and the Times: Dealing with declining ad dollars in a world that continues to shift toward digital media.

From FishbowlNY to Thompson — good luck. You’re probably going to need some.

New York Times Company Could Name CEO by September

The New York Times Company released its 2Q report this morning, and buried among the bad news — the company posted a loss again, down $88 million because of decreasing ad dollars — was a small note about that CEO search:

A person familiar with the company’s thinking, who could not discuss private meetings publicly, said the board had made significant progress on the chief executive search and could announce a successor as early as September.

So Times reporters have insiders at the Times dishing on the Times. Got it.

The Times has been looking for someone to fill the diamond-encrusted shoes of Janet Robinson since late last year, and so far, we’ve only heard two names pop up — Gordon Crovitz and Alan Spoon. Will either be the company’s new CEO? Hard to say, but we’ll keep you posted.

Two Names Emerge in Search for Next New York Times Company CEO

The search being conducted by Spencer Stuart for the next New York Times Company CEO has kicked up two names: Gordon Crovitz and Alan Spoon. The New York Post is reporting that those two have emerged as frontrunners to replace Janet Robinson, though nothing is confirmed.

The two are big names, but don’t carry the digital experience many think the Times needs. Crovitz was The Wall Street Journal’s Publisher until 2007, when News Corp. completed its acquisition of Dow Jones. Since then he has been working as an advisor to tech startups. Spoon was most notably the President and CEO of The Washington Post Company; he also had a stint as President of Newsweek.

Obviously the two leading the pack is just a rumor, so don’t get too crazed. Hopefully the Times recognizes the need for someone with more of a digital background and will do the right thing. Stay tuned.

New York Times Looks Outside for New CEO to Throw Millions At

The search for the new CEO of The New York Times Company has begun. Bloomberg reports that the Times has hired Spencer Stuart — a recruiting firm that his been used by companies such as AOL and Hewlett-Packard — to find the replacement for Janet Robinson.

The early word is that the lucky person won’t come from inside the Times, which is bad news for Chief Advertising Officer Denise Warren and Times Media Group’s President and General Manager, Scott Heekin-Canedy.

If you’re wondering why we say the new CEO will be “lucky,” you obviously haven’t been paying attention to The Sweet Life O’ Robinson.

Janet Robinson Gets $24 Million Payout

Janet Robinson has an amazing life. After Robinson left the The New York Times, it was rumored that her severance package was about $15 million. Not bad! Especially considering the Times continues to lose money. Then that number was rumored to be more like $21 million. Pretty good! But now, according to regulatory filings, we all know the truth: Robinson was paid a whopping $24 million severance package. Amazing! Great job, Times Company board members!

The best part about the payout for Robinson was that she was going to get that huge amount no matter what. Fired, retired, resigned — either way, she was getting paid. Again, amazing.

So how did the Times react to this news? With a cold, fact-laden article:

Janet L. Robinson’s total compensation package when she left The New York Times Company in December was about $24 million, according to the company’s proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday…

On Friday, the Times Company opened at $6.64…

In the full year of 2011, the company reported a net loss of $39.7 million, or 27 cents a share, in contrast to a profit of $107.7 million, or 71 cents a share, in 2010, according to its latest earnings report…

Yeah, sort of like a newspaper tombstone.

Janet Robinson Keeps Getting Richer

When the news broke that former New York Times CEO Janet Robinson was getting a severance package of $15 million, people were understandably upset. The Newspaper Guild even sent a letter — packed with 560 signatures — to Arthur Sulzberger Jr., protesting several items, including the amount and the timing of Robinson’s pension.

If people were pissed before, the rumor that Robinson is actually getting a $21 million severance package will likely lead to riots in the streets. Okay, it won’t be that bad, but there will definitely be some angry fist shaking.

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Newspaper Guild Sends Letter to Sulzberger Packed with 560 Signatures

On December 23, the Newspaper Guild of New York posted an open letter criticizing Arthur Sulzberger Jr. for freezing pensions  — while giving departed CEO Janet Robinson hers early — and for not budging in negotiations. That letter now has 560 signatures from New York Times staffers and others, along with scathing comments to Sulzberger.

“We are extremely grateful, excited and heartened by the overwhelming response to the letter,” said Bill O’Meara, the guild’s President, in a note sent around calling for any last minute signatures.

The letter was sent to Sulzberger last night. A sample of one of the quotes added to it:

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Newspaper Guild Writes Open Letter to Arthur Sulzberger Jr.

Just like we thought, the Newspaper Guild of New York has something to say about recently departed New York Times Company CEO Janet Robinson getting her full pension two years before she was eligible to get it. The union published an open letter to Arthur Sulzberger Jr. demanding that if Robinson was getting her pension, then he should drop the pension freeze on all guild members.

A note announcing the union’s position begins, “The last 24 hours have brought stunning news about several recent decisions by Arthur — moves that have angered and dismayed those of us who work for the Times and care about its direction.”

The entire letter is available below and at Saveourtimes.com.

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Janet Robinson’s Total Severance: $15 Million

Despite not being eligible for her New York Times pension benefits for another two years, Janet Robinson got paid the full amount — about $10.9 million — as part of her severance package. That’s in addition to the $4.5 million “consulting fee” she’s getting paid next year.

According to Reuters, the latest rumor explaining why Robinson suddenly left the Times is that Arthur Sulzberger Jr. didn’t like how much she was putting herself in the spotlight lately; sources said that Sulzberger saw it as “an unwelcome power grab.”

Hopefully that’s not the real reason. One would think that Sulzberger is a little more confident in himself than to let something like that get in the way of what was a great business relationship. The Times was doing well under their collective guidance, it’d be a shame if that’s all it took to end it.

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