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Mark Thompson New York Times

New York Times chief executive Mark Thompson hit by discrimination accusations


By John Glenday, Reporter

April 29, 2016 | 2 min read

New York Times chief executive Mark Thompson has become embroiled in a multi-million dollar legal action amidst claims that he oversaw an ‘environment rife with discrimination based on age, race and gender’.

The former director-general of the BBC is named alongside fellow executive Meredith Levien in a class action lawsuit filed by two black employees in their sixties who state that the paper favours young and white employees with no children.

Accusing the Times of ‘deplorable discrimination’ the two claimants state: “Unbeknownst to the world at large, not only does the Times have an ideal customer (young, white, wealthy), but also an ideal staffer (young, white, unencumbered with a family) to draw that purported ideal customer.”

At the heart of the case is an assertion that as chief revenue officer Levien (who was appointed by Thompson) oversaw the dismissal of existing employees to bring to make room for ‘fresh faces’, claimed to be a euphemism for younger, white recruits.

A spokeswoman for the New York Times refuted the ‘recycled, scurrilous and unjustified attacks’ however, stating: “We strongly disagree with any claim that the Times, Mr Thompson or Ms Levien have discriminated against any individual or group of employees. The suit is entirely without merit and we intend to fight it vigorously in court.”

Thompson’s record at the BBC has again come back to haunt him with a past admission that there were ‘too few older women broadcasting on the BBC’ cited by the claimants as evidence of inherent bias on Thompson’s part.

Mark Thompson New York Times

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