The Hollywood Reporter Names 2013's 35 Most Powerful People in Media
This story first appeared in the April 26 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
In September 2011, Abramson was appointed the first woman to assume the highest-ranking position in the Grey Lady's 162-year history. The Manhattan native, 59, wields indisputable power in curating the national conversation, to which Hollywood pays very close attention by optioning articles and garnering movie rights from such writers as Times sportswriter Juliet Macur; the rights for her Lance Armstrong book proposal were acquired by J.J. Abrams in January.
The Times -- with a total average circulation that Abramson has seen rise to 1,613,865 for weekday editions, a 40 percent increase over last year -- confers the ultimate stamp of approval for anyone seeking legitimacy to open a movie, talk to Wall Street or get buzz going. The paper can "set the tone for an awards campaign," says Oscar-campaign publicist Michele Robertson (and rep on the NYT documentary Page One), particularly for smaller films, "which use full-page ads in the Times as their trade paper. And when a client is profiled in the Times, we say, 'Ah, we've arrived.' "
Abramson, a married mother of two, also has displayed rare openness about the paper's struggles as it loses print-ad dollars (down 5.6 percent in fourth-quarter 2012) and slowly morphs its business model, spurring painful staff cuts.
FUN FACT: Abramson sports a tattoo of a New York subway token on her shoulder.