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Sneed: New York Times’ Abramson episode sounds a sour note

NEW YORK NY - MAY 07:  Executive Editor The New York Times Jill Abramsattends WIRED Business Conference: Think Bigger

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 07: Executive Editor of The New York Times Jill Abramson attends the WIRED Business Conference: Think Bigger at Museum of Jewish Heritage on May 7, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for WIRED)

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Updated: June 23, 2014 12:05PM



The women’s room . . .

Sometimes things are really quite simple.

The abrupt firing of New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson this week prompted news reports Abramson may be winning the publicity war.

She finally shattered the Fourth Estate’s glass ceiling and her firing was a blow to all women in journalism, her advocates claimed.

She reportedly demanded equal pay as her predecessors, which didn’t set well with her, um, male newspaper publisher, according to one report.

She was a superb journalist, but was a terrible staff manager and had hired a consultant to help her with her management style, which had caused major tension in the newsroom, according to a New York Times source.

She stepped on the toes of a popular African-American managing editor, Dean Baquet, who has great people skills — and she lost. (Hmmm. Sound a little like Hillary and Barack?)

My world is Chicago, not New York.

I’ve been a reporter stumping the Chicago beat for nearly 50 years and started working when the smell of bras burned by feminists was still wafting in the air.

There is no doubt women in the press have not had a fair shake financially and are handed ladders tilted toward male ascendancy. Things don’t seem to have changed much in the nation’s newsrooms.

I do not know Abramson, but her elevation to the lofty editor’s perch at the New York Times drew my attention and pride that a woman had finally done it.

But I gotta say, listening to Abramson for the past two years being interviewed on television was maddening!

Was I hearing things? Who was this seemingly smug woman with the irritating and condescending voice? Brilliant and hard-charging she may be, but why the arrogance . . . the attitude?

I’ve worked with the greats, the goofs and everything in-between, but I’ve never worked for or with anybody who remotely sounded like Abramson! I remember wincing and thinking — nobody should sound like that!

Like I said, sometimes things are very simple.

If I had to listen to Abramson all day, I’d shoot myself.

The book beat . . .

Popular former Chicago TV news veteran/anchor Jim Ruddle, who decided to pull up his journalistic stakes and sail the high seas a few decades ago, has just penned a novel published by Amika Press entitled: “My Name is Luke.” It’s about a 15-year-old who gets trapped in a hijacked schooner. Life imitating art, Jim?

I spy . . .

Blackhawks star Patrick Kane, who is the middle of a battle for his third Stanley Cup, fueled up on protein at Chicago Cut Thursday night . . . The odd couple? Legendary dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov dined with L.A. Dodgers owner Mark Walter at the posh RL Thursday night . . . Were they discussing baseball, business or ballet?

Sneedlings . . .

A comment about two old friends, Sun-Times Editorial Page Editor Tom McNamee and political PR maven Thom Serafin, who were both just given awards from the Joint Civic Committee of Italian-Americans for their commitment to truth and tolerance. Their acceptance speeches were wonderful, but both literally choked up talking about their families. Wow. It was humbling. Bravo. Love you guys . . . Saturday’s birthdays: Bob Saget, 58; Sugar Ray Leonard, 58, and David “Chicago Fire” Eigenberg, 50 . . . Sunday’s birthdays: Tina Fey, 44; George Strait, 62, and Jack Johnson, 39.



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