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New York Times makes stunning announcement about executive editor Jill Abramson

Posted at 4:06 PM, May 14, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-14 16:06:07-04

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) – In a move that stunned the media world, the New York Times announced Wednesday that it was replacing executive editor Jill Abramson with her No. 2 in the newsroom, Dean Baquet.

Abramson was named executive editor only about three years ago. According to prepared remarks provided by a spokeswoman for the company, New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. told employees at a staff meeting that he chose a new editor “because I believe that new leadership will improve some aspects of the management of the newsroom.”

The spokeswoman confirmed that Abramson will not remain at the newspaper.

Baquet, who has been Abramson’s deputy since 2011, will become executive editor immediately.

At the hastily-called staff meeting, Sulzberger quoted Abramson’s predecessor, Bill Keller, who once said of Baquet that he possessed “infectious enthusiasm and aggressive intelligence.”

“I agree,” Sulzberger said. “Combine that with a passion for journalism, investigative and otherwise; a fierce loyalty to the editors and reporters he leads; and a competitive spirit that inspires all around him to do better. That’s Dean Baquet, the executive editor of The New York Times.”

Abramson was the first female executive editor of The New York Times. Baquet is its first African American editor.

Shares of the New York Times, which had been lower for most of the day, fell further following the announcement. The stock was down about 4% in late afternoon trading.

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