You all know the tale: MediaBistro started as a series of cocktail networking parties hosted by Laurel Touby, who then realized she could monetize a website by charging (voluntarily, at first) for job postings. Then came the classes, which are totally overpriced—especially when compared with nearly identical, yet much longer, journalism classes at the New School. (I've taken both!) Then came the seminars—would you pay $75 to watch dubious dating columnist Julia Allison and others talk about personal branding? MediaBistro makes money by getting people to pay them to learn how to break into journalism. But let's be honest: they're basically an expensive Learning Annex for people who want to work in the media but have no contacts or connections. So what's MediaBistro gonna do to make money turning the downturn, with MediaJobs disappearing left and right? How about desperate stunts: charging for cheesecake videos that cross the line:This video, "How Do I Got from Model to Model Journalist?" costs $15 FOR A SIXTEEN-MINUTES. Laurel, that's the phone-sex model of making money, not the "freelancer-helping" one.
Meanwhile, Fishbowl NY, one of their blogs, is posting insane predictions that there are still media jobs left. Yeah, well, let us know! Of course it's in their interest to lead us to think that. Don't forget, MediaBistro was purchased by Jupiter last year for $23 million. Jupiter's stock's been down, and there's an earn-out clause in Touby's contract—is MediaBistro trying to bleed the flock for more cash from desperate newbie freelancers?