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New York Times Editor Has ’Every Confidence’ in Thompson

New York Times Co. Executive Editor Jill Abramson, who dispatched a team of reporters to investigate the controversy over Mark Thompson’s leadership of the British Broadcasting Corp., said she remains sanguine about his role as chief executive officer of her company.

“I have every confidence in him as CEO of the New York Times,” she said in a brief interview after a presentation at Business Insider’s media and technology conference today.

Thompson, who came in to lead Times Co. this month, has come under scrutiny for his management of the BBC. He led the broadcaster when it canceled a segment by its “Newsnight” program investigating claims that Jimmy Savile, a popular BBC presenter, had sexually abused dozens of underage girls over a period of decades. Savile died last year.

Thompson appeared before a closed-door internal inquiry at the BBC last week to testify on what he knew about the news report and why it was canceled.

“I was not involved in any way in the decision-making about the ‘Newsnight’ investigation into Savile,” Thompson said in an interview last month.

Abramson said she has met with Thompson a number of times since he joined the company.

“He’s very energetic and full of ideas,” she told Business Insider Editor-in-Chief Henry Blodget at the presentation.

At the same time, she said it isn’t her role to evaluate his management of the company.

“We’ve done a number of lengthy enterprise pieces about the unfolding issues in the BBC investigation,” she said. “That’s my job here.”

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