Dear Inc.com Editors: I Want a Raise!
So, Chelsea Clinton made $600,000 a year filing occasional stories for NBC News, according to reports. Believe me, that's a heck of a lot more than I make writing columns for Inc.com (199 of them so far, by the way).
Clinton, who joined NBC News as a special correspondent in November 2011, was up for renewal or nonrenewal this year. Instead, the sources said, the network decided to keep her on the payroll on a month-to-month basis so the two parties could sever ties if Clinton's mother, Hillary Clinton, runs for president.
It's a little unclear when the switch to month-to-month was made, and whether she's now making the prorated equivalent -- in other words, $50,000 a month. Regardless, despite the fact that Clinton had no experience as a journalist when she landed the NBC gig, her salary represented 13.5 times as much as the average salary for all journalists at all levels of experience -- $44,360 last year, according to one study.
Clinton and her husband bought a New York City apartment for $9.25 million last year, so clearly the wages that other people make wouldn't cut it for her. But let's break this down a bit further. Daniel Strauss at Talking Points Memo did some research, and he found that Clinton has had nine stories run on NBC. (I emailed Strauss and asked him how much he makes--or at least to compare his salary generally to Clinton's. So far, no reply.)
Again, it's a little unclear to me how long this $600,000-a-year thing lasted, but even if it were just a single year, that would work out to just under $67,000 per story.
As it happens, I've had a lot of opportunities recently to think about how much journalists should make, as a result of hiring for several projects. I try to pay at the top of the market when I hire people, but apparently Clinton would be way out of my league. Regardless, if she's out there raising the bar for what journalists and writers should be paid, I'm all for it.
Speaking of which: Inc.com editors, let's keep the Chelsea Effect in mind the next time we work on my contract. I'm a reasonable man, of course. For example, we can negotiate a similar option in case either my dad or my mom decides to run for president. And certainly, I'm not demanding a Chelsea-esque $67,000 per story. That would be ridiculous.
Heck, I'd be happy with half of that.
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BILL MURPHY JR. | Columnist
Bill Murphy Jr. is a journalist, ghostwriter, and entrepreneur. He is the author of Breakthrough Entrepreneurship (with Jon Burgstone) and is a former reporter for The Washington Post.