Stop fetishizing nasty editors, Dean Baquet says


In an interview with NPR’s David Folkenflik, New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet says he never gave Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. an ultimatum about now-former Executive Editor Jill Abramson. He also talks a little bit about management style.

“I’m not commenting on Jill’s relationship with the newsroom or management style. I’ll let others do that,” Baquet said. “But one thing that people say is newspapers always have tough [leaders]. I mean I’ve seen many elegies to ‘the city editor who changed my life because he was really nasty to me for six months and it made me a better person.’ I think that’s nuts.”

He added, “I don’t think that leaders have to be or should be rough on their people. Leaders have to make tough decisions.”

Earlier this week, former (Greensboro, North Carolina) News & Record Editor John Robinson tweeted something along those lines, bouncing off a Jim Romenesko post about a tough editor.

He followed that tweet today:

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  • JTFloore

    there should be some sort of required training to teach editors not to be assholes, but newspapers have not been smart enough to do that. just one more example of how newspapers — and probably all media — have been poorly managed.

  • friv2game

    Yes, i agree with lexalexander.

  • lexalexander

    There’s a difference between demanding and asshole. Having worked for JR for years, I know he knows the difference. As an editor myself, I bordered on asshole and sometimes crossed the line; I had yet to learn that tone was less important than standards.

    I wish Dean Baquet the best at the Times, and I hope he feels the same way about standards that I do. And as a former NYC resident, I hope he starts by killing with fire those silly “trend” stories about things that three rich people uptown are doing.