Let’s Talk Money

Compensation for services is a topic we rarely bring up here. Maybe because talking about how much one makes is totally taboo. Given that it is mostly unspoken and absolutely off-the-record when spoken makes this find at footnoted.org sort of interesting.
It seems newspaperman Paul Bonaiuto, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Journal Communications in Milwaukee announced his resignation back in May. But the company waited until Friday to disclose the terms of his exit deal.
Bonaiuto receives $8,334 for up to 20 hours of consulting work per month, which works out to just over $400 an hour. The consulting contract lasts for two years.
I know under-employed journalists in Milwaukee and elsewhere must see those numbers and feel violated. They certainly don’t get paid $400/hour to write articles as a stringer. Far from it. In fact, much paid journalism is marginal at best. Literally, it can be a hundred bucks here, another hundred or two there, for high quality investigative writing. No wonder I’m a copywriter.
Let’s hear from you in the comments on this. We work in a fee-based business. Do you have horror stories about getting paid, or tips on how to estimate a job? Are you offering your services for less in this time of slimmed down budgets? Tell it…

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. OK, so I enter the hot new “social media” world, apart from my freelance writing for traditional media, and my personal blog, which is really just a fun, I write whatever I damn please, project….I landed what looked like dream job. one grand a month, two short (3-400 words) blogs a week, and relevant comments on other posts. All driving traffic towards client’s product.
    Well the writing was fun, I gave good content, rich in links, readable, fun. The comments were a nightmare. I agreed to the 20 a month, but it became hard. I had to sign with my real name, company link, blog link. started feeling too marketey.
    waddya think? Is this journalism? marketing? the future?

  2. @LuluMom – It’s all of the above – journalism, marketing and the future. It’s a mashed up media world.