The New York Observer is one of the last of its breed. The pink paper features a full illustration on every cover and pages of in-depth writing that many journos would trade in their degrees just to score a byline in.
But the beloved Big Apple institution faces a huge challenge. How do you get proud print veterans to embrace the Twitter-friendly copy of the Web? Rather than threaten their jobs, editor Kyle Pope opted for an incentive program: mo’ traffic, mo’ money.
“Their salaries aren’t based on their traffic. It’s purely a bonus system,” Pope explained in our Media Beat interview. “So, they’re getting paid whatever they’re getting paid no matter what their web traffic is doing. What we said is that we’ve got a bonus pool of extra free money.”
And if a writer tries to boost his own stats? So be it.