Why the New York Times CEO Is Suddenly in Hot Water
Last week, the Guardian broke the story of a multimillion-dollar class action lawsuit filed against New York Times CEO Mark Thompson and the Times "alleging that he introduced a culture of 'deplorable discrimination' based on age, race and gender at the newspaper."
"I have to admit, it was not an easy decision to sue the New York Times, the company where I have worked for eight years in the advertising division. I’m a black woman in my 60s, and I’m currently battling multiple myeloma," said NYT employee Marjorie Walker in a personal op-ed. "But in recent years I have had a front-row seat to the Times’ new management systematically purging my division (and others) of older employees, people of color and women whose family obligations are viewed as interfering with work."
"In 2013, the new CEO of the Times, Mark Thompson, brought with him a reputation for aggressive change, as well as a record of disregard for older talent, during his eight years as director-general of the BBC. Top management openly announced its intention that the advertising staff would reflect their stereotype of the company’s customers and business partners: young, high-end and primarily white," she continued.
But it's not just print journalism. At last Saturday's White House Correspondents Dinner, Larry Wilmore, roughly the same age as Walker, once again proved just how white the media industry really is, his punchlines dealing with racial issues received mixed reviews.
In a 2013 keynote speech Thompson remarked, “It’s kind of crazy how [the New York Times] appears to be moving so opposite to what’s happening in media." Maybe he pushed things a little too far: