50 Years Ago, NYT Swore Off Women Editors

All-male agenda for the Gray Lady newly upset with first female chief editor.

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Here’s how stunning the appointment of Jill Abramson as the top editor of the New York Times was last week. Newly revealed archival video of a former trailblazing Timeswoman, Eileen Shanahan, shows her detailing a conversation 50 years ago with managing editor Clifton Daniel in which he states bluntly that no woman would ever run the Gray Lady.

Asked what her goal was during a job interview, she simply said being a reporter. “He replied, ‘That’s good because I can assure you that no woman will ever be an editor of the New York Times.’ The year is 1961, it wasn’t illegal. People said things like that in those days.”

She added: “So that’s the way it was, those were the bad old days.”

The video was provided by C-SPAN. It is an interview from the Washington Press Club Foundation’s Women in Journalism Oral History Project, shown on C-SPAN’s American History TV.