The New York media gossip blogs are aiming their wrath today at two magazines, both with operations based out of Miami, that aren't paying their freelancers.
The first is Hip Hop Weekly, a Miami-based rag that covers the hip-hop world in the dumbed down, gossipy style of Us Weekly and the like. They're celebrating their 50th issue release with a party at Park West Nightclub this weekend, and sent out invites to a bunch of contributors, many of whom haven't received checks for their work. Oops. The contributors emailed asking how the mag can throw a self-congratulatory party for itself when they haven't yet paid their debts. Those emails then got leaked to Gawker.
Gawker isn't sure if they just don't have the money or they don't want to pony up. But the fact the title launched in 2006, purports to be a weekly, and is only now celebrating its 50th issue suggests they're having larger money problems.
The other freelance F-over comes from Haute Living. The company runs its Florida edition out of an office in Coral Gables. Jossip charges that not only is the company stiffing freelancers, but calls it a "publishing sweatshop."
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It's gotta suck for the underpaid staff to put together a mag that's basically a giant suck-off to any super rich chump willing to sit for a portrait (and in some cases buy an ad spread). This isn't the first time Haute Living has had problems paying freelancers, there were rumors about that last year.
Yeah, print media is in the crapper right now, but it's no excuse not to pay your freelancers.
(For the record I wrote a couple of pieces for Modern Luxury's Miami magazine, which could be considered a competitor of HL. Yes, they paid me on time.)