The Post Guild, the union representing Washington Post workers, has released a biting letter criticizing Publisher Katherine Weymouth for receiving half a million dollars in bonuses for 2009. When WaPo ombudsman Andrew Alexander mentioned it in March he lead his piece with the news that Post Co. chair Donald Graham had forgone any bonuses or salary increases, getting to Weymouth’s accepting of a bonus and 10% salary increase farther down in the column. The bonus is “based on 2009 performance goals” though exactly what those are he doesn’t mention.
If we go by Alexander’s May column the answer would seem to be “only declining in circulation by about 6%.” Raw numbers are worse than that, but Alexander points out that’s because the Post sold a lot of commemorative papers because of Obama’ in the previous six-month time. “The decline is more modest when looking only at home delivery circulation, where The Post dropped by 6.4 percent weekdays and 5.7 percent Sundays.”
Alexander omitted what an earlier WaPo column pointed out: only 18% of the paper’s circulation is newsstand sales, so narrowing that number down to “only” home delivery, the majority of the paper’s sales, doesn’t seem like a lot of consolation.
Armed with that 82% home delivery number, though, you can get some fun numbers. Sunday circulation rate of 800,000 means 656,000 people get it at home. Daily it’s 578,500 total and 474,370 at home. Apply the $0.10 rate hike to those home subscriber numbers and you’re up 41.3M – more than enough to cover the 16.2M they actually paid in bonuses to their executives, according to the Post Guild.
What are you whining about, Guild? They only took 40% of that for themselves!