Certain New York media blogs are all puffed with self-righteousness over the news that Dealbreaker‘s Andrew Sorkin made $250k last year, which may or may not have included a bonus that may or may not have been caused by the amount of traffic he was getting, essentially making it a pageview bonus. Which, as these blogs are quick to point out, get shredded by certain traditional journalists as being the downfall to “objective” journalism since it employs a tabloid mentality of “The more people read it, the better it is.” Thus, Octomom, Jon Gosselin, etc, etc. And if The Times is using the same payouts as blogs do, while simultaneously cutting the staffroom and giving huge bonuses to their wunderkind, where’s the fairness there?
But…shouldn’t Sorkin be paid according to the traffic he brings in?
With his DealBook e-mail, read by some 200,000 people, plus the blog, with 2.5 million unique monthly visitors, plus the weekly column, breaking news scoops, television appearances, and 60,000 Twitter followers, he is one of the Times’ most visible players. Media ubiquity is a strategic decision. In the cubicle jungle of the Times, heâ€™s an entrepreneur. “All of it is self-reinforcing,” Sorkin says.
Sorkin is not your average blogger, or even your average New York Times journalist. He falls somewhere in between, and the fact that the Times recognizes this and may (or may not!) pay him on a scale most notoriously used for employees at Gawker, doesn’t mean the The Times should be eating crow for it.
Besides, that $250k a year is nothing next to the $700k he just made for Too Big To Fail.