Blogger Gets Staggering $250,000 Retention Bonus

Newspapers, magazines, TV networks and online conglomerates are laying off journalists left and right, but even the sad crumbling world of professional news delivery has a fortunate one percent. This elite group now includes Ben Parr, whose employer Mashable, the tech blog, paid him a $250,000 retention bonus only to turn around and fire him. Meet the happiest unemployed journalist in the world!

Parr was a "critical... brand on the site," according to Business Insider, which broke news of his bonus. "Ben's 3+ year career with Mashable began when he joined as a writer in August 2008." Parr helped birth the cottage industry of professionally hating Facebook - we're grateful, yes - when as a Northwestern University junior he started the 284,000-member group "Students Against Facebook News Feed." He soon graduated and joined Mashable to begin his epic "3+ year career," which was to be extended until at least July of 2012 as a condition of his bonus. But now he doesn't even have to do that, because he's been fired by an unpopular new editor. "I'm exploring options in... the entertainment world," he writes. Uh, OK. See you at the beach, baby.

Parr's payout comes on the heels of New York Times blogger Nick Bilton's $500,000 offer from CNET and TechCrunch writer MG Siegler's venture capital cash out. So apparently it pays big just to write about the tech boom. That must mean it's a very sustainable thing! (Send tips about any other enormous journo jackpots, or contract offers of no less than eighty million dollars, to ryan@gawker.com.)

[Photo of Parr via Jolie O'Dell/Flickr]