Janet Robinson, who will step down as chief executive of the New York Times Co on December 31, will receive an exit package in excess of $15 million, according to people familiar with the situation.
In addition to a $4.5 million consulting fee, the Times Co will pay Robinson $10.9 million in pension benefits that she accrued over 28 years of service, they said.
News of Robinson’s severance agreement comes during the same week that a wave of buyouts hit the newsroom of the flagship New York Times and the company disclosed that it was in talks to sell 16 regional newspapers to Halifax Media Holdings. More than a dozen newsroom staffers reportedly took buyouts, among them well-known bylines including sports writer George Vecsey, metro columnist Clyde Haberman, and business reporter Diana Henriques.
I do not begrudge Robinson her golden parachute, as she helped turn arund the paper’s fortunes, quickly repaying the $250 million bailout they took from Mexican monopolist billionaire Carlos Slim, and selling off noncore assets (Granted, the paper’s failure would not have bothered me much, either). But given that the paper finds it scandalous that Mitt Romney continues to profit from Bain Capital because the firm (gasp) turns some companies around by right-sizing them, some derisive laughter at the NYT’s expense is in order.
Indeed, looking at how the NYT runs piece after piece about storming the capitalist castle, the shrinking middle-class, moaning that most Americans are delusional for thinking they are the haves, and advocating an inequality tax, I wonder why the unwashed hipsters occupying Wall Street don’t shamble over to the NYTHQ, a progressive palace built for the paper on government-seized property and given $26.1 million in tax breaks. I do not wonder about the blind eye the remaining Timesmen and Timeswomen turn to the income inequality at their own business. After all, the NYT is now fixated on the issue everywhere but the paper for the same reason Team Obama is — they would much rather continue to curse the last three decades than defend the past three years.
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