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Jill Abramson 'Isolated' At New York Times, Clashing With Mark Thompson: Report

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JILL ABRAMSON
Jill Abramson, executive editor of The New York Times, speaks during a panel discussion with Al Hunt, Washington editor at Bloomberg News, on the sidelines of the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Tampa, Florida, U.S., on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012. The discussion, held across the river from the Republican National Convention, was sponsored by Bloomberg, the University of Southern California?s Annenberg Center on Communication, Leadership and Policy and the Institute of Politics at Harvard Univ | Getty

New York Times editor Jill Abramson feels "isolated" at the paper, and is struggling through a tense relationship with new CEO Mark Thompson, New York magazine's Joe Hagan reported on Friday.

The piece, which will appear in the next issue of the magazine, paints a portrait of a paper that, while journalistically strong, is beset by personal difficulties and the stresses of budgetary restraints.

To some extent, Hagan's story continues a long-running theme of pieces about Abramson, who has led the Times for just under two years: that she is a brilliant journalist who can rub her colleagues the wrong way. It also adds further color to another feature of Abramson's tenure--layoffs, buyouts and austerity.

A friend told Hagan that Abramson had admitted to feeling "isolated and without allies." When he asked to interview her, she said, "Do you want to cause me to kill myself?"

But the story adds a new wrinkle to the narrative with its reporting about Thompson, who came to the paper after running the BBC. (He also arrived in a most undesirable way, with a cloud of bad publicity surrounding his handling of the BBC's sex abuse scandal.)

Abramson, Hagan writes, has "chafed at some of Thompson's moves as he redirects company resources to projects of ambiguous design, including an aggressive video unit run by a former AOL/Huffington Post executive who sits among news editors but reports to the corporate side of the Times." The two also clashed over whether or not the paper should keep Nate Silver, who ultimately jumped to ESPN.

Thompson also audaciously told a Times executive, "I could be the editor of the New York Times," something Abramson, who actually is the editor, would not be pleased to hear.

Read the full piece here.

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