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More Freelancers Fired at AOL

On Monday, we relayed the Business Insider report that claimed AOL had fired its freelance business writers, then- because if someone is down it’s always a good idea to kick them – invited them to work for free.

Peter Goodman at AOL denied this report, but it looks like it was probably spot on, because freelancers at Moviefone/Cinematical got the same treatment. Here’s a snippet of an email sent by AOL to an ex-freelancer, which he tweeted yesterday:

http://content.screencast.com/users/coshea/folders/Jing/media/b2873991-4748-48d4-91cb-9104f1a760c4/2011-04-06_1150.png

That’s right. AOL values its freelancers, just not enough to pay them.

It’s a great time to be a writer!

UPDATE:
We received a copy of a follow-up to the above email, that, according to Mario Ruiz, Senior Vice President of Media Relations of The Huffington Post Media Group, corrected “errors.” The following is from Patricia Chui, Editor-in-Chief of Moviefone:

I wanted to clarify a couple of things about the email I sent earlier today.

During the AOL / Huffington Post integration, we’ve been trying to provide our writers with as much clarity as possible, via emails and conference calls, regarding the future of freelancers at AOL. I know there are a lot of questions, and we’re doing our best to address them as best and as quickly as we can.

I especially want to clarify that we have not been asking freelancers (i.e., any of you) to become unpaid bloggers.

In no way did I mean to communicate that you were being asked to write for free, and I apologize for the misrepresentation.

As I mentioned in my email, conversations about freelancers are still ongoing. There may still be opportunities for people to write freelance for Moviefone and Cinematical, and I promise to keep updating you.

But you’re still fired! Have a nice day.

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