“Sobbing” Editor-in-Chief Stuns New York Times Magazine Staff

On Monday Capital New York reported that New York Times Magazine editor Hugo Lindgren would step down at the end of the year. A staff meeting on Tuesday, during which Lindgren confirmed his departure, confirmed what many at the paper suspected: This was not an amicable separation.

“Hugo completely broke down,” an individual with knowledge of today’s all-staff meeting told Gawker. “He was sobbing and shaking. Completely unable to speak at certain points.” Lindgren’s behavior, the individual said, left the impression that he was not leaving the magazine on his own accord.

Present at the meeting was senior editor Sam Sifton, who stepped down from his post as the paper’s national editor in July and who some consider a candidate for Lindgren’s successor.

Lindgren’s departure, as Capital reported on Monday, followed months of rumors that he was headed for an exit. Sources close to the paper’s upper masthead confirmed to Gawker that executive editor Jill Abramson had voiced dissatisfaction with Lindgren’s direction of the magazine over the past several months.

Neither the paper nor Lindgren responded to requests for comment.

Update: Culture editor Adam Sternbergh writes in:

If you’re interested, I was at that meeting, saw it with my own two eyes, and the account you received is way overblown. What the Times report has is accurate. Hugo choked up. He said the last few days have been difficult. “Sobbing and shaking” is not what happened; it’s a pretty comical overstatement. I know you’re working from (presumably) anonymous tips, but I thought I’d let you know. For the record.

Get in touch if you know more.

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