On Wednesday, the same day that Jill Abramson was removed as the top editor at The New York Times, the paper’s ad sales chief, Meredith Levien, appeared at an ad agency forum to discuss the Times’ new native ads. Ms. Levien told the audience that its “Paid Posts” ads attract roughly the same attention as its editorial content.
The claim surprised some of the audience members. It also chaffed the newsroom, one reporter said. “It was like sticking a sharp object into the eye of the newsroom,” a former Times executive agreed. “Plus, it’s an unfair comparison. An editorial story is off the homepage after maybe a day, while a promotion can live there for weeks.”
In a conversation Thursday night, Ms. Levien put her statements into context. “I should not have used words that made such a direct comparison,” she said. “It’s not a fair comparison, and I should’ve been more careful.”
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