FishbowlDC TVNewser TVSpy LostRemote AgencySpy PRNewser GalleyCat SocialTimes

ProPublica’s Top-Paid Employees All Made Six Figures in 2009

propublica08102010.pngAdd a fat paycheck (by the standards of today’s struggling journalism market, anyway) to the list of reasons why it’s awesome to work for ProPublica, the Pulitzer Prize-winning nonprofit investigative outfit.

Yesterday, the organization submitted its 2009 Form 990, a worksheet tax-exempt organizations must turn in to the IRS to determine compliance with tax laws. One of the things ProPublica disclosed was the wages of its highest-paid employees. (In its admirable pursuit of transparency, ProPublica posts documents related to its operations on its website.) ProPublica paid out $6.4 million in salaries, other compensation and employee benefits last year, up from $4 million in 2008. Each of the top eight employees raked in six figures, drawing down a total of $2.1 million in salary plus $181,181 in other compensation. President and editor in chief Paul Steiger made more than half a million!


• Paul Steiger, president and editor in chief, made $571,687 in salary, plus $13,430 in other compensation.

Richard Tofel, treasurer and secretary, made $320,978 in salary, plus $21,312 in other compensation.

Stephen Engelberg, managing editor, made $343,463, plus $31,231 in other compensation.

Dafna Linzer, senior reporter, made $205,455, plus $20,421 in other compensation.

Susan White, senior editor, made $160,011, plus $18,063 in other compensation.

Tracy Weber, senior reporter, made $176,309, plus $21,243 in other compensation.

Charles Ornstein, senior reporter, made $172,287, plus $26,805 in other compensation.

Thomas Miller, senior reporter, made $186,479, plus $28,676 in other compensation.

The spirit of volunteerism is confined mainly to the board of directors. Chairman Herb Sandler put in 2 hours a week and made $0, and board members Henry Louis Gates, Alberto Ibarguen, Mary Graham and Rebecca Rimel all made $0 for an hour of work a week.

Some other tidbits about ProPublica’s organizational structure: It employed 47 people in 2009, plus five volunteers.

Costs outpaced revenue, and the organization registered a $2 million loss, vs. a $2.4 million gain in 2008. Total revenue came in at $6.4 million, down from $8.6 million in 2008. Revenue from contributions and grants was $6.4 million, down from $8.5 million a year ago. Investment income fell to $4,356 from $26,926, while other revenue rose to $7,711 from $535.

On the cost side, ProPublica racked up $8.4 million in total expenses, up 38% from 2008, including $151,810 in fundraising expenses and $2.3 million in “other expenses.”

Total assets fell to $2.1 million from $4.1 million a year ago, and total liabilities rose to $336,034 from $315,815. The organziation’s net assets fell to $1.8 million from $3.8 million in 2008.

Mediabistro Course

Middle Grade Novel Writing

Middle Grade Novel WritingStarting January 15, work with a literary agent to write your middle-grade novel! In this course, you'll learn how to develop strong characters, write compelling dialogue, master the art of revision, and market your work to publishing houses and agents. Register now!