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Television Employer Without Pity

Oct. 27 2008, Updated 7:07 a.m. ET

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TIGHT-FISTED? Bravo

Big media companies are often prepared to pay a lot of money to prove that they "get" the Internet. But the generosity ends the moment the deal goes through, as the employees of Television Without Pity, a TV-lovers' site acquired by Bravo last month, are now learning.

On March 14—the morning after the sale was announced—TWoP's "recappers" (writers who summarize show episodes), received new contracts via FedEx. The contracts sought to lock them in at the rate they had been earning, $100 per write-up (with minor relief from moderating the online discussion boards).

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The offer was greeted with indignation by the recappers, who typically spend five to 10 hours on each summary. "It's one thing to make very little money when you're working for a startup," says one writer. "But there's no reason we should be paid these rates when we're at-will employees of a big corporation." (Bravo is part of media giant NBC Universal.)

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