New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson in the New Yorker, profiled by Ken Auletta

Dylan Stableford

"The first thing that people usually notice about Jill Abramson is her voice. The equivalent of a nasal car honk, it's an odd combination of upper- and working-class."

-- The New Yorker's Ken Auletta on the new New York Times executive editor--the first female editor in the Gray Lady's 160-year history--in his 10,000-plus-word profile of Abramson in this week's magazine. Abramson's hiring caused "not a few" women in the newsroom to cry, Auletta writes. "To see Jill take the mantle, I felt tingling," the Times' Susan Chira told Auletta. "You have to praise and savor when a woman can earn it through merit. No tokenism here. Jill studied for this job. She earned it."

Abramson, who clashed with former editor Howell Raines, almost left the Times in 2002. "Over my dead body do you leave this paper!" Times Co. chief Janet Robinson recalled telling Abramson. "If I don't support people in this organization, women in this organization, I'm not doing my job."

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