New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson is stepping down, Politico reports. Dean Baquet, the paper’s managing editor, has been chosen to replace her. Abramson, a 17-year Times staffer, succeeded Bill Keller as executive editor in September 2011, becoming the first woman to do so. Her successor, Baquet, will be the first African American executive editor of the Times.

In an email to Gawker, Times spokesperson Eileen Murphy said: “We’re not commenting beyond noting that Arthur made the decision because he believed that new leadership would improve some aspects of the management of the newsroom.”

Times media reporter Ravi Somaiya confirmed Abramson’s departure shortly after Politico’s report:

Jill Abramson, the executive editor of The New York Times, is unexpectedly leaving the position and will be replaced by Dean Baquet, the managing editor of the newspaper, the company said Wednesday. ...

[Times Publisher] Mr. Sulzberger made the announcement to senior editors in a gathering at a conference room Wednesday afternoon, and addressed the full newsroom around 2:30 p.m. ...

The reasons for the switch were not immediately clear.

On Twitter, Somaiya described the sudden move in rather cryptic terms:

His colleague, culture reporter Patricia Cohen, offered a slightly more pointed take:

Hmm. If you have any more details, send them along.

Ken Auletta of The New Yorker reports that, “several weeks ago,” “Abramson discovered that her pay and her pension benefits as both executive editor and, before that, as managing editor, were considerably less than the pay and pension benefits of Bill Keller, the male editor whom she replaced in both jobs.”

To contact the author of this post, email

[Photo credit: Getty Images]