We don’t know how much Peter Biskind gets paid to write for Vanity Fair. Or Fran Lebowitz. Or Sebastian Junger. Or Michael Wolff. But we can guess.
In the latter’s case, we’d say somewhere between $19.80/word and $39.60/word (30,300 words written in the last 10 months). And we’d guess that’s probably higher than “the very expensive words of Edwin John Coaster,” who, were he a real contributor, with, say, a $50,000/year contract (3,150 words written in the last 12 months), would have made $15.87/word.
How do we know? Read more:
Here at fishbowlNY, we have an Intern Abuse Program that rivals that of many major media companies. So last week, we sent mb intern Jeff Cambron to dig up the last 12 issues of Vanity Fair and find out just how much 74 contributors who have appeared on the magazine’s masthead in the last year have actually written. Then we divided those numbers by different hypothetical contract amounts (assuming they have contracts), ranging from $10,000 to $1,000,000 and arrived at a per word rate.
Some of the contributors had contributed so little in the last year that we couldn’t even get a per word rate because according to Excel, you can’t divide any contract amount by zero words written. In fact, there were 31 people on VF’s masthead who haven’t written anything in the last year. They were, if you’re curious: Carl Bernstein, Buzz Bissinger, Marina Cicogna, John Daly, Beatrice Monti Della Corte, Janine Di Giovanni, Rupert Everett, Jules Feiffer, Reinaldo Herrera, Sebastian Junger, Walter Kirn, Edward Klein, Bruce McCall, Patrick McMullan, Frederick Morton, Nina Munk, Dee Dee Myers, Andrew Neil, Betsey Osborne, Elise O’Shaughnessy, Gene Pressman, William Prochnau, Lee Radziwill, Kate Reardon, John Richardson, Nancy Jo Sales, Gail Sheehy, Nick Tosches, Diane Von Furstenberg, Heather Watts..
See all data HERE.