A freelance journalist from AOL sent us the email below, which the freelancer says is being widely interpreted by fellow freelancers as, “You are fired.”
The freelancer says that every fellow AOL freelancer the freelancer knows got the same email.
When we read the email, we didn’t see anything specific about anyone getting canned, so we asked the freelancer to elaborate.
Here’s the follow-up note we received:
Well, you know how people always fear the worst — in this case, since it says we’ll be paid for March “to date,” we infer that it means we won’t be paid for any work going forward. We’re also told to wait until we’re contacted by our new editorial team. Most people didn’t even know they had one. Turns out a lot of us don’t. We’re instructed to send questions not to our individual editors, but to the corporate team handling this–that is very uncommon for us. Most people read it as a “thanks for your service, we won’t be needing you any more, unless you want to apply for full time work.” This appears to apply only to those news writers who work for sites that are being discontinued, but it also appears that ALL freelancers received them.
If AOL has, in fact, canned all of its freelancers (and invited them to re-apply for full-time work), this wouldn’t be a huge surprise. Tim Armstrong’s restructuring memo last week said the company would be de-emphasising freelance work in favour of full-timers.
Here’s the email that freelancers are interpreting as a pink slip. If anyone from AOL would like to clarify the message, we’ll be glad to print the clarification here.
Dear AOL Contributor,
As you likely know, AOL has acquired The Huffington Post, and we have created the Huffington Post Media Group, bringing together The Huffington Post, all AOL content sites and Patch, to launch a next generation hyper-local, national, and global media company. Together, we’ll create even more impactful, engaging, and informative experiences.
We have recently made some changes to our editorial leadership and you should be hearing from them soon. We are laser focused on high-quality journalism and will be hiring additional full-time writers, editors, and reporters. If you’re interested in a full-time position or have other questions, please contact us per the information below.
Some important items and points of contact:
1) MARCH PAYMENTS: Please be assured that payment for your March published work or fixed fee services will be input and processed in the CMS. Everyone will receive payment in accordance with their contracts, per the monthly operating routine to date.
EDITOR TRANSITION QUESTIONS: Send your emails to [email protected].IF YOU’RE INTERESTED IN A FULL-TIME EDITORIAL POSITION: Send an email to [email protected]. Please include a resume, the site(s) you contribute to, a short summary of your contributions to AOL, and your areas of interest. EDITORIAL/CONTENT QUESTIONS: You will hear from the new editorial team for site content direction. If you have an urgent editorial question and don’t know who to contact, write to [email protected]. PAYMENT QUESTIONS: Continue to contact the Help Desk at 877.265.0823, M-F, 9am – 8pm. FEE INVOICES: Send via email attachment to [REDACTED].
Thank you for your continued contributions to AOL. Please reach out to us with any questions for more information.
The Huffington Post Integration Team