Is Jared Kushner's family real estate business having trouble subsidizing the cash-bleeding New York Observer? Maybe: Editors told one writer about orders to delay freelancer payments.
Fashion writer Glenna Goldis has gone public, posting to her Tumblr the sad saga of her attempt to get the $700 she was promised for two pieces she wrote for a Nov. 16 Observer Style insert. Spoiler: She's still stiffed.
But she's been a valiant pest! Here's what she learned along the way:
- Style editor Nancy Butkus was told to pay only $22,000 of $29,000 in invoices for the section. "What I'm being asked to do is immoral," she told Goldis.
- Managing editor Jesse Wegman said no one who worked on the section had been paid. He first called it a "budget screw-up," then later "unconscionable."
- Observer Media Group president Bob Sommer, who is blamed for the mess, just took a job flacking for the New Jersey Devils. It is unclear if his duties there will include blocking contract workers from getting the money they are promised.
The Observer was also stiffing people two years ago. So screwing over freelancers is a grand ole Observer tradition that should obviously be retired, but will probably continue forever. Sort of like "Sparrow."