By: Richard Pyle, Associated Press Writer
(AP) A top editor who was fired from the New York Post last month has filed a federal complaint accusing the newspaper of discriminating against women and Americans in its selection of senior news executives.
Maralyn Matlick, who as Sunday editor was the Post‘s highest-ranking female editorial staff member, said she was ousted because management wanted to promote British or Australian males, rather than Americans and women.
In a complaint filed Tuesday with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Matlick sought reinstatement, back pay, and compensatory and punitive damages.
“This is a very unfortunate thing and not what I envisioned happening in my 25 years at the Post,” Matlick said in a telephone interview.
In a statement, Post Publisher Ken Chandler said, “Matlick’s claims are simply untrue, and the facts demonstrate we made every effort to be fair with her. The Post is an equal opportunity employer, and we are confident the EEOC will rule in our favor.”
The EEOC refused to comment. The complaint was first reported in Newsday of Melville, N.Y.
In the interview, Matlick said she was shunned and demeaned in the past year as an Australian man was groomed to replace her.
Matlick said Editor in Chief Col Allan told her on Feb. 5 that she was finished as Sunday editor, but could continue to work days for less money — or at the same salary, as associate metro editor, if she agreed to work nights. She said she declined, and was then fired.
Chandler denied that Matlick was told that working nights was a condition of keeping the same salary.
“We felt Ms. Matlick was not right for the Sunday editorship. We asked her to suggest another position she would want at the paper and promised her salary would remain the same,” he said.
“Ms. Matlick refused to suggest any other positions and insisted on the Sunday editorship. At that point, we came back to her with the offer to be associate metro editor, at the same salary, which she also refused.”
The complaint says six of the top 12 management positions are held by Britons or Australians, including the top four. All 12 managers are men, it says.
The Post is owned by News Corp. and is part of the Australian-born Rupert Murdoch’s global communications empire.