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Report: Abramson salary was $84,000 less than her male predecessor

Brad Barket Getty Images Entertainment

The New York Times paid ousted editor Jill Abramson a lower salary than the male editors who had previously held her position, the New Yorker reported Thursday evening.

The salary figure follows earlier reports that Abramson lost her post as the Times' executive editor after confronting other executives about earning less than her predecessor, Bill Keller.

In the New Yorker article, Ken Auletta cites the dispute over pay as one factor in "fraught relationship" between Abramson and New York Times publisher Arthur O. Sulzberger, Jr. Auletta included specific salary figures, suggesting that Abramson initially earned $84,000 less than her predecessor, Bill Keller:

As executive editor, Abramson’s starting salary in 2011 was $475,000, compared to Keller’s salary that year, $559,000. Her salary was raised to $503,000, and—only after she protested—was raised again to $525,000. She learned that her salary as managing editor, $398,000, was less than that of a male managing editor for news operations, John Geddes. She also learned that her salary as Washington bureau chief, from 2000 to 2003, was a hundred thousand dollars less than that of her predecessor in that position, Phil Taubman.

A spokeswoman for the Times cautioned Auletta "that one shouldn't look at salary but, rather, at total compensation, which includes, she said, any bonuses, stock grants, and other long-term incentives."

For what its worth, Auletta doesn't seem fully convinced by this explanation:

It is hard to know how to parse this without more numbers from the Times. For instance, did Abramson's compensation pass Keller's because the Times' stock price rose? Because her bonuses came in up years and his in down years? Because she received a lump-sum long-term payment and he didn't?

And, if she was wrong, why would Mark Thompson agree, after her protest, to sweeten her compensation from $503,000 to $525,000?

The Times has previously issued a statement to Politico saying that Abramson's "total compensation" was not less than Keller's, noting that "Her pension benefit, like all Times employees, is based on her years of service and compensation. The pension benefit was frozen in 2009."

See more on Jill Abramson and the New York Times here.

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