Jill Abramson June 2 2011
New York Times managing editor Dean Baquet, newly-appointed executive editor Jill Abramson, and Bill Keller, who is stepping aside, Thursday, June 2, 2011. Photo by AP
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That Jill Abramson, the next executive editor of The New York Times, is Jewish does not distinguish her from many in the long line of top editors in whose footsteps she follows. Including her, four of the paper’s last six executive editors have been Jewish.

Yet, as the country’s most influential newspaper faces the critical challenge of surviving the reinvention of modern journalism, its leadership has chosen a top editor who is radically different from her predecessors in ways obvious (she is a woman) and subtle (she is actually kind of hip).

In her office in the corner of the third floor newsroom of The New York Times building, Abramson, who will assume the role in September, sat with her legs pulled up next to her and thought about how she would describe herself.

“Quirky,” she ventured.

In a sense, she isn’t so far off. Abramson, 57, had a New York City subway token tattooed on her arm when she was 49; speaks in a Dylanesque drawl, and has an affinity for indie music. Besides her investigative reporting and her work as an editor, she is best known for a Times blog she wrote about her puppy.

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