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From Staff Writer Intern to 300K EIC

CentelMediaLogoThe first paragraph of this week’s announcement about the acquisition of libertymetro.com by Centel Media is notable for two reasons. One, it reveals in the very first paragraph the annual salaries of two folks associated with the forthcoming, revived website. And two, those salaries are insane:

The details are still being finalized, but the website is slated to return early next year. Regina Edmond has been named CEO of Liberty Metro and will have a starting salary of 480K per year, while Matthew Shaffer, editor-in-chief, will be paid 300K. These salaries were not originally part of the deal, but were spearheaded by [Centel Media CEO Jack] Cola in the late stages of the buyout.

Did Centel creative writer Jonathan Wong, the author of the press release, really mean to leave these specified salary amounts in the lede? Is there an extra zero in both amounts? We’re not sure, but Shaffer may have a hard time in 2014 if-when he has to tell Liberty Metro freelancers to wait a little longer for late payments.

Cola, who purchased the domain name from News Corp for around $1.8 million, says he plans to “restore Liberty Metro to its former glory” with an extensive event calendar, online banking capabilities, NYC street parking information, stocks and bonds info, and more. According to the release, the site was launched in 2001 and at one point featured on AOL.

As far as Shaffer is concerned, his annual salary is even more impressive when you consider that he started out with Cola’s firm as an intern and was only just promoted to Centel Media EIC two months ago. We’re guessing, from this previous release/other paragraph, that he must have written some pretty amazing blog items:

CEO Jack Cola took notice of Shaffer after reviewing his blog work and prompted his quick promotion to Editor-In-Chief… Shaffer is a native of Naperville, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. He studied at the University of Illinois at Chicago and received his bachelor’s degree with concentrations in Psychology and English. Upon his graduation in 2012, Shaffer received a membership into the prestigious Psi Chi honor society and the title of Magna Cum Laude, earned from his cumulative 3.8 GPA. His education introduced him to writing and helped him carve his skills in editing.

Cola purchased Centel Media earlier this summer for $846,000. In that release, he is also referred to in parenthesis as John Colaiacovo. We’re not sure what that means and have contacted Centel Media for clarification.

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