Timing is everything, these days most particularly where web launches are concerned. Despite all the bold-faced names she promised to include back in 2005 Arianna Huffington could never have predicted the coming election furor that would launch HuffPo to its current place of dominance. The same can be said about Tina Brown’s The Daily Beast. While everyone knew newspapers and magazines were facing an uphill battle who could have predicted that so many of them would fold like a house of cards in such a short period of time leaving a slew of talented writers at loose ends. Enter Tina. Says the New York Observer: “She’s like Schindler, in a skirt-suit.”
It’s no secret at this point that unlike HuffPo The Daily Beast pays (at a party a few weeks ago Brown told us she would never consider not paying her writers). Want to know how much? The Observer appears to have cracked the pay scale.
“We’re not offering big fees,” Ms. Brown said. Posts are generally good for $250. One recently laid-off staffer who’s been pitching the site was told posts could get $300 to $500 — others say it’s closer to 50 cents per word. Seven hundred words? Three hundred and fifty bucks. Another tells us that there are bonuses for reporting.
But not too much reporting!
“They want celeb-focus and featurey stuff thatâ€™s light and fun to read,” said one recently laid-off staffer who contributes. “They’re less interested in the scoop and more interested in the fun, light read. They like stuff with celebrities attached with little lists: five of this, five of that.”