Econ 2: Spring 2014: Final Review: May 15 10-12: Hearst Mining 390
Morning Must-Read: Michael Lewis: Stress Test

Morning Must-Read: Gabriel Sherman: In PikettyWorld, Our Major Institutions Are Governed by Entitled, Non-Meritocratic Heirs and Heiresses

Gabriel Sherman: Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., and Jill Abramson: "Sulzberger’s vague suggestion of 'management' issues only intensified the vortex of speculation...

...and a search for a single smoking gun--a conflict or breach so serious it would explain Sulzberger’s dismissal of his historic hire [Jill Abramson].... “The unbelievable thing is that there actually is no ‘cause’ for this--no single thing, nothing,” a colleague said. “It was just a lot of accumulated backbiting.” As in many matters involving the executive editor of the New York Times, the story is as much about Arthur Sulzberger Jr. as his employee.... Abramson’s appointment in June 2011 triggered a flurry of positive profiles--which seemed to bother Sulzberger. “He does not like people who promote themselves,” a person close to Sulzberger said. “There was a threshold that was crossed... an interview she did with Alec Baldwin.”...

After a prolonged search in which the Times was without a CEO, casting an uncomfortable spotlight on Sulzberger, he finally chose former BBC director general Mark Thompson.... Abramson sent Matthew Purdy, a hard-charging investigative reporter, to London to examine Thompson's role in the Jimmy Savile scandal at the BBC. Abramson’s relationship with the two executives never recovered. “Mark Thompson was fucking pissed,” a source explained. “He was really angry with the Purdy stuff.” So was Sulzberger. “He was livid, in a very passive-aggressive way. These were a set of headaches Jill had created for Arthur.”...

Other dynamics may have been in play, too.... Arthur’s son, Arthur Gregg Sulzberger... thought to be his probable successor, was by the end of his fact-finding intimately aware of feelings (and dysfunction) in the newsroom to an extent that has often eluded the Sulzbergers (most notably during the Raines era).  Still, it was the cold abruptness of the firing that has the newsroom stunned.... “This is incredibly un-Times-ian,” one female staffer told me. “It's an undignified, unceremonious way to handle this. There's many people who feel that.”

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