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Archives: April 2010

What’s Normal In A Job App, And When?

Interesting discussion on the mediabistro.com forums: what’s normal at what stage of your job application?

For example, is it normal to be asked for a writing sample before the first interview? (These days, yes, though it used to be something you’d get asked for after the interview.) Salary requirements? (Same.) The original poster in this case was also asked some pre-interview questions via e-mail, like “Why do you want this job?” We certainly find that a bit strange, and not usual, as did the rest of the commenters. But there’s probably no reason to protest answering these questions, unless they seem like they’d take an inordinate amount of time for not-very-much payoff—in that case you may be better cutting your losses.

We’ve talked a bit about how to handle requests for salary when they come early on—as in, before you’ve impressed them so much with your credentials that they’ll be willing to consider your salary request—and a lot of the same advice applies: give a range, especially if you know what the median salary is for a similar position in a similar area, and emphasize you’re flexible.

In the case of this original poster, s/he and the hiring manager couldn’t come eye to eye on salary, but it worked out in the end: “I didn’t come all the way in to their offices only to find the salary was low because it was for a more junior position than my background.”

The poster adds: “Man, it’s tough to let go though; in this employment climate having somebody show interest in possibly hiring you feels great and holding out for the needed salary feels wrong but I know is right; I’m still not asking for much relative to my experience…”

Unpaid Internships Ad Nauseam | Hire A Job Hopper | More Stuff That Happened Yesterday

Internet Earnings: ‘Growth Company’ AOL Isn’t That, Yet; IAC Back In The Black

new aol logoIn other earnings related news today, Aol has decided it wants to be an “internet growth company,” according to CEO Tim Armstrong in the company’s Q1 earnings statement today. What that means, we don’t know, but the company is still finding its feet since spinning off from Time Warner late last year: the company reported a 58% drop in profit, to $34.7 million, on a 23% decrease in revenue ($664 million).

The company noted that it reduced expenses by $139 million, thanks to its selling-off of legacy products (like today’s announcement that it would sell ICQ as well as AOL’s plans to sell-off Bebo) and, of course, its reduction in staff.

No word yet on Seed or Aol’s other new initiatives, but it’s early yet.


In other parts of the Internet, IAC grew revenue 16 percent in Q1 2010, resulting in profits of $3.5 million, driven by ad revenue at Ask.com. The Daily Beast experienced growth this quarter, too, though IAC doesn’t quantify that growth. We’ll hope to hear about it in today’s earnings conference call and let you know.

Earnings: Meredith Corp. Delivers Rising Revenue, Profit

better homes and gardens march 2008.jpgMeredith Corp (MDP) today reported fiscal third quarter 2010 earnings per share of $.73, a 30 percent increase from last year, and a 5 percent increase in revenue.

Meredith, which is the publisher of Better Homes And Gardens, Family Circle and Parents among other women-focused magazines, said it saw advertising rise 4 percent over the year, increased circulation revenues, and grew online advertising by more than 20 percent. The company didn’t cut expenses too severely—that happened last quarter.

Who says the ad recession isn’t over?

Related: Meredith Corp. Reports Q2 Earnings Of $18 Million

Meredith Q1 2010: As Revenue, Advertising Slides, Profit Remains Steady

Meredith Corp. Loses $163 Million In 3 Months; Is Ready To Buy You

Meredith Corp. Reports Almost 50% Drop In Earnings

Freelancers Become Bill Collectors

Freelancers are having trouble getting paid, the Wall Street Journal reports, but whether this is a trend or just a fact of life we’re not certain.

Regardless, with contract and freelance work becoming more common, it pays to be aware that some clients…don’t pay.

Some interesting points from the WSJ article: You can check RipoffReport.com and/or an industry discussion board (mediabistro.com has forums, did you know that?) to scope out a new client before accepting work, and company officials typically give priority to contractors who have spelled out consequences for a late payment in their contracts. So make sure you have that “5% late fee” clause in there.

Last year we spoke with the director of ASJA about how to get paid. It’s still relevant. Check it out.

Jobs Of The Day: Promote Shirtless Barbarians

tor cover art
Yes, life is just this awesome if you work for TOR Books. The company is seeking a publicist. (New York, NY)
Palgrave Macmillan is looking for an assistant editor. (New York, NY)
Investment News seeks an reporter. (Washington, DC)
FDAnews has an open position: a reporter. (Falls Church, VA)
The Jed Foundation is hiring a freelance mental health writer. (New York, NY)
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution wants a banking and finance reporter. (Atlanta, GA)
Dow Jones needs a copy editor. (New York, NY)
Share Our Strength wants a director of communications. (Washington, DC)
Georgetown University Hospital is looking for a communications and media specialist. (Washington, DC)
The Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City wants a marketing and membership director. (Overland Park, KS)
GOOD is looking for a project manager. (Los Angeles, CA)
Draftfcb needs a context planner. (Chicago, IL)
The Associated Press has an open position: a newsperson. (Washington, DC)

Every day we scour major job boards, including, but not limited to Mediabistro.com’s listings, to find the best media jobs out there. We screen out duplicates and scams so you know you’re only receiving the top choices.

As of the time of this posting, there were 1066 jobs on our board.

The Worst Intern Ever.

starbucks coffee cup
an intern’s life. flickr: Steve Webel

Thanks, Gawker, for destroying our faith in humanity: the blog’s just posted e-mails from a wannabe intern who is just so awful that we find it hard to believe that this kid is for real:

S/he says things like “Is there a possibility that your internship will turn into a full time position? The reason I ask is because I’m looking for a full time job and I would not want to waste my time at an internship that was not going to lead to a full time position.” And “I find it very unprofessional that you have gone an entire day without responding to me and it makes me question the type of office you work in and if I want to be an intern at your company.”

Our money’s on some sort of strange performance art project. Nobody can actually be this rude and stupid.

Can they?

Media People On The Move

Quite a few hires and promotions today:

  • Michael Schaffer becomes the editor of Washington City Paper, replacing Erik Wemple, who left last month to lead TBD.com.

    Schaffer worked at the paper as reporter and editor from 1997 to 2000, then left for US News & World Report and the Philadelphia Inquirer.

  • Maria Cristina Marrero has been promoted to editor-in-chief of Siempre Mujer, a Spanish-language Meredith publication for women. She’s been with the magazine since October 2008.
  • And Una LaMarche, formerly the managing editor of BlackBook, has been named managing editor of the New York Observer. She replaces Joe Pompeo, who left the Observer for Business Insider in March.

McGraw-Hill Is Probably Really Glad It Dumped BusinessWeek

businessweek_3.pngMcGraw-Hill’s latest earnings, released this morning, contain some numbers that shouldn’t really surprise anyone: the company’s Information & Media segment saw first-quarter revenue fall 9.5 percent to $187.5 million. However, excluding BusinessWeek, which was sold to Bloomberg on December 1, 2009, revenue rose by 4.3 percent. Expenses fell nearly 20 percent, and the segment’s profit rose to $27.8 million from $2.7 million.

Bloomberg isn’t a publicly traded company, so we won’t get more than guesses from now on about how BusinessWeek is doing, but we do know that the magazine is much leaner now than it was under McGraw-Hill.

Recruiter: ‘We’ve Been Busier Than Ever In 2010′

Over at PRNewser a guest post from Lindsay Olson, a partner and recruiter with Paradigm Staffing, is saying that the job market, at least for PR folks, is picking up. Not just picking up, but really picking up.

She writes:
“If you had asked me in Q4 2009 if I expected 2010 to be a good year for the PR job market, the hesitation in my voice would have clearly shown I wasn’t too hopeful. By the end of January of this year, despite my doubts, I couldn’t even count how many times I’d heard myself saying how good 2010 is going to turn out.”

But you don’t have to take my word for it.

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