Cathleen P. Black, the chairwoman of Hearst Magazines, on Friday rebuffed reports suggesting that she was not Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s first choice to be schools chancellor, saying the mayor told her personally that he had not offered the job to anyone else.
The New York Times reported on Friday that Mr. Bloomberg had originally tried but failed to persuade Geoffrey Canada, the Harlem education leader, to take the job.
Ms. Black suggested the report did not jibe with what Mr. Bloomberg had told her in October, when he invited Ms. Black to the offices of his foundation to offer her the chancellor’s position.
“What he said to me is, ‘You’re the first person I’ve offered this job to,’ ” Ms. Black said on Fox 5’s “Good Day New York.”
Ms. Black praised Mr. Canada, a prominent figure in the charter school movement and a political ally of the mayor. “Geoffrey is fantastic,” she said. “He’s an amazing educator.”
A spokesman for Mr. Bloomberg declined to comment. Mr. Canada has declined to say whether he was offered the position, but he has acknowledged that the mayor solicited his advice on the search a month before he announced the selection of Ms. Black.
In the interview on Friday, Ms. Black said she was unsure whether Mr. Bloomberg knew that she lacked graduate degrees when he offered her the position. “I don’t know that for a fact,” Ms. Black said. “I assume he had done his homework — as he should have.”
Ms. Black, who will start her job next month, said she was not fazed by lawsuits seeking to block her appointment. Parents and lawmakers have argued that she does not have enough experience in education or government.
“None of this is productive,” Ms. Black said. “I’ve got the job; I’ve got the job. I am their chancellor.”