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Posts Tagged ‘Sheila McClear’

Sheila McClear, New York Post Features Writer: Gawker is 20-Something Version of CNN

The Awl runs a recurring item called “Random New Yorker,” and the most recent one features an interview with Sheila McClear, a features writer for the New York Post. McClear speaks about a variety of things, like what her job is like and how Vince Neil is the coolest person she’s ever interviewed.

McClear worked for Gawker before coming to the Post, and her comments about it – and blogging in general – are the most interesting part of the interview. She says blogging is fine, but that it shouldn’t be any writer’s final goal. McClear does credit Gawker with teaching her how to stick to deadlines, but also says she rarely reads the website anymore, adding, “I kind of feel when I go to Gawker now I’m going to the twenty-something version of CNN.com.” In other words, a news site for people who want to know just enough about current events to make fun of them.

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More On Gawker Media’s Full-Time Status

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Monday morning Nick Denton announced that for the first time ever, Gawker Media writers would have the opportunity to become full-time employees instead of freelancers. Ostensibly good news in this wintery publishing climate, where benefits like health insurance (and even unemployment) are a thing of the past. Sheila McClear, a former Gawker editor who successfully went to court to get unemployment from Gawker told Fishbowl “I congratulate them for going legit.” Sheila is speaking of course, about the common practice for blogs (and most other media these days) to use use freelancers and permalancers in editorial roles so as not to have to dole out benefits or pay the 15% tax for full-time employees.

Many are speculating why Denton finally made the switch: certainly it doesn’t help him financially to pay writers as full-time employees, but it does make an appealing draw to Gawker for heavy-hitting journalists who may not have been willing to work under the previous conditions. Also speculated is that having full-time employees filed under 1099 status is technically illegal, and Denton may have finally gotten in some hot water with the IRS over unpaid taxes. We reached out to Gawker Media and asked them exactly what the terms and conditions of for the new W2 employees are.

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A Deeper Look At Gawker’s Full-Time Move

gggg.jpgOur sister blog MediaJobsDaily did some digging into the recent news that Gawker Media has offered some of its writers full-time employment status, particularly the theory that former Gawker staffer Sheila McClear‘s request for unemployment payments following her layoff last year was the motive behind the move.

McClear did eventually get approval from the Department of Labor to claim unemployment, but only after much wrangling. Could her fight have brought Gawker Media under the DOL’s microscope?

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Employed And Unemployed Alike Swap Swag At ASSME Bash

assmepic.pngJust as we were about to leave ASSME’s Swag-a-Thon — a charity event/blowout hosted by the organization representing the “sh*tcanned media elite” — we heard the unmistakable voice of New York Times media columnist David Carr. There had been some confusion over whether Carr would come — something about being lost in a taxi — but clearly he had made it to Fontana’s safely. So, what did he think of the party?

“I would say the people are sort of spicy and interesting,” Carr told FishbowlNY. “I don’t know if you noticed any jerks or a**holes in there? I just got here so maybe they’re lurking.”

Jerks? Of course not! But we did see, as attendee Rex Sorgatz of Fimoculous.com put it, “70 percent of all the people I see at all the other media parties,” including Jeff Bercovici, Foster Kamer, Rachel Sklar, Brian Stelter, Megan Keane of TechSoup, and ASSME-ers (ASSME-ites?) Sheila McClear, Drew Grant and president Aaron Gell.

Photo: (from left to right) Gell, Carr and Grant party on. Photo by Amy Mitten

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ASSME* Launches Group Blog

ASSME_logo_nobox_lg.jpgASSME (*American Society for Shitcanned Media Elites) has officially launched its group blog. Founder Aaron Gell sent out this announcement email earlier today:

I wanted to…let you know about today’s official launch of the ASSME blog (for those with short memories, that’s the American Society for Shitcanned Media Elites, the “support group” I founded after Radar went down).

We’ve got the blog up at www.assme.org and a number of really great contributors. Sheila McClear, formerly of Gawker, is the “editor” (the posts aren’t actually edited, however), and there are 8 or so contributors, including an anonymous blogger from Iraq (one of those!) who says he works for a contractor and for all I know really does; acclaimed playwright Jeffrey Stanley leading a book group; true crime blogger Steve Huff taking a break from blood and gore to opine on pop culture; and other people we know and love.

The idea of the group blog is simply to further ASSME’s core goal of providing an outlet (first alcoholic, now literary, and eventually who knows?) to disenfranchised former media elites and their worried cohorts.

You can find the whole shebang here, as well as some good unemployment filing advice from Sheila.

ASSME Blog Looking For Contributors

2177097314_2acb72a17d_o.jpgASME may have just announced the Elly. But ASSME – the Association of Shitcanned Media Elites, founded by former Radar editor Aaron Gell — is pseudo hiring! Also, seems that they’ve had the good sense put former Gawker-er Sheila McClear in charge. Point being, ASSME is apparently launching a group blog and looking for contributors.

We want YOU to blog for ASSME. Well, maybe we want you. Maybe we don’t. That all depends. We can’t hand just anyone the keys to the kingdom. Naturally, there’s a selection process, a weeding out. We have standards. If you’re interested in being a part of the ASSME Group Blog, we’ll need a sign of your commitment, a token of your dedication….

The whole shebang, including where to send your application, is after the jump.

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Gawker’s Sheila McClear Respectfully Says Goodbye

custom_1230618813301_michaelcropped.pngNothing like ending the year with your own layoff post. Over at Gawker Sheila McClear is saying good-bye (incidentally leaving Gawker entirely girl-free!).

Still, I accidentally cried when he informed me of the termination of our mutually mercenary arrangement in the see-through glass box of a conference room. I was surprised by how much I cared. I mention this scene not because it is mine, but because it is wholly unremarkable, and it is being played out in workplaces across the country right now. (Two million jobs lost in 2008, says the Wall Street Journal.)

I was lucky to spend a year being a smart-ass for a living, although it would be irrationally hubristic to view Internet news-aggregating and the snark-blogging fishbowl as anything more than a Dadaist experiment. Still, it’s been more fun than most jobs should ever be — and thanks for the shot.

Read the entire thing here.

Which Jezebels Went Part-Time; Denton on Gawker Cuts

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(L-R: Megan Carpentier, Tracie Egan, and Sadie Stein)

In the wake of Gawker Media’s latest layoffs, we’re hearing more about what went down at the blog network. Sources with inside knowledge of today’s cuts report that editors Megan Carpentier, Tracie Egan, and associate editor Sadie Stein are the Jezebel staffers who’ve been made part-time employees. Jezebel managing editor Anna Holmes would only tell FishbowlNY that three editors had their hours cut, declining to confirm their names. Holmes said there “shouldn’t be much less” content on the blog following the staff cuts and status changes. Carpentier posted to Twitter at approximately 11 p.m. Monday night, seemingly in reference to her modified employment status:

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