Tabloid Salaries: 'Post' Poaches While 'News' Freezes

Longtime Daily News reporter Austin Fenner is jumping ship to the Post. It's not a particularly remarkable move; Fenner is a respected rewrite man and enterprise reporter, if not a marquee name. But Daily News staffers report that Fenner's departure is a sign of something more ominous for the tabloid—they're having trouble keeping people because of the money.

Starting reporters at the Daily News generally make more than those at the Post, actually—at the DN, that's around $50,000 a year for someone with experience or $35,000 for junior reporters, while it's mid-40s for new hires at the Post for reporters with some experience. Also, some new DN reporters are required to have a car.

But while Post reporters may start out at lower salaries, the paper is much more likely to entice reporters and editors from other papers with bigger pay, and is less reluctant to offer its reporters raises. Fenner, an staffer reports, was offered $90,000 to come work at the Post. "He must have been making less than $60,000 at the Daily News," speculates a staffer, "because I heard when he asked our senior management for a RAISE to $60,000, they denied him and sent him on his way. I should have been wary when I noticed veteran reporters talking about how much they needed the overtime."

Daily News reporters haven't gotten raises in ages. "People here are disgruntled about the no-raise policy. None of the upper management talks about it, but I heard the no-raise thing started right after 9/11." Another person with knowledge of the paper's salaries reports, "The only thing I know about raises is that we didn't even really talk about them when I was hired."