In your contentious Friday media column: freelancers say BlackBook's not paying them, a family sues Metro for misleading photo usage, WaPoCo makes money (no thanks to the newspaper), and a bidder for Newsweek says he was ignored.
- Magazine freelancer payment kerfuffle! Natasha Vargas-Cooper took to her Tumblr to vent her complaints about not being paid by BlackBook—she says they've owed her $1,200 for nearly eleven months, despite "dozens" of calls and emails. Another freelancer claims that he hasn't been paid for an article from March. We emailed Chris Mohney, Blackbook Media's SVP of content, and he replied:
The shortish answer is that we're settling up these old overdue accounts — almost all of which are from the print side — as fast as we can. Natasha emailed me a few weeks ago and I asked her a question about her invoice, but she never responded. I don't know who else she talked to. She has a right to be angry though, and I've asked that her check get settled within the week. She's incorrect about us not paying anyone since May, so not sure who she talked to there. Anyone in the same boat can email me and I'll investigate and respond personally, like I always do: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- So, email him! Let us know how it goes.
- The family of a ten year-old Brooklyn boy is suing Metro International after the New York Metro paper ran a file photo of the kid looking at a crime scene with a story about gang violence. Eh. If you're looking for some easy lawsuit money these days, getting hit by a car is an easier way than suing a newspaper.
- The good news: profit at the Washington Post Company nearly octupled in the second quarter! The bad news: the profit, of course, was not from the company's namesake division. "The Washington Post newspaper would have swung back to profitability in the second quarter were it not for the anticipated $17.7 million cost of withdrawing from a multi-employer pension plan."
- Interesting postscript to the Newsweek sale: Syrian media entrepreneur Abdulsalam Haykal tells Jason Fell that he put together a group of investors and an offer, but couldn't get an answer: "In fact, we tried again, with the help of a friend, who is a well-respected American diplomat who has access to [Newsweek senior writer] Elizabeth Weymouth. He passed me the details of two people at Allen Co., and I emailed them but got no reply." If true, that's rude. Although to be fair, if you're seriously considering doing a deal with costs that will run into the hundreds of millions, you'd think that perhaps it would take more than an unreturned email to dissuade you.