Tuesday, May 20, 2014


I’m just about finished with the Jill Abramson story, aren’t you?

It’s easy to see why the NY Time’s former executive editor’s sudden, rude dismissal became such a media cause célèbre – it’s a lot like the old record business phenomenon where songs about the radio and d.j.’s are guaranteed to generate radio play – the same goes for media-related news stories in the media -- but the story is played out. 

The real details are unlikely ever to be revealed in direct/followed by cross-examination detail, scrutinized and tested as they might be in a courtroom.  And who cares anyway?

It’s a soap opera between, among and versus the highly compensated and the eternally self-regarding.

The imbroglio reminds me exactly of every corporate firing I’ve ever experienced first, second or third-hand.  A congeries of curs handling knives of differing sharpness, playing hands of varying strengths.  But, as in the movie Highlander, “there can be only one.”  In our materialistic world, the last person standing is usually the one with the most money.

The funniest part of the story is Arthur Sulzberger’s apparently grave discomfiture at Jill Abramson’s interview on Alec Baldwin’s show.  Ugly and trivial stuff on every level.

I used to know Jill during her late high school years and through college.  I always liked her a lot and have immense respect and admiration for what she has achieved professionally.  But I can easily imagine her grating on colleagues.  She’s often sarcastic and cutting and can be imperious.   I don’t think her voice is that unusual either.  She speaks as she’s always spoken.

I assume Arthur Sulzberger hasn’t lost and won’t lose a lot of sleep about any of this.  Being a billionaire must be great for your somatic well-being.

What should keep him up nights is the fact that the newspaper he runs, which was once a gem,  has been terrible, almost unreadable, for years and continues to decline. 

Even this high-profile story probably hasn’t added a single sales digit to his deteriorating bottom line. 

The fact that all of this public recrimination is occurring against what must almost certainly be a backdrop of confidentiality and non-disparagement clauses makes me kind of cringe as a lawyer.



  1. Very well said on all counts. A tabloid story about what has become a tabloid.

    1. Thank you very much. Curtis

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