PayMeNow, ChargeMeLater

Gawker has this jaw dropping announcement that Time Inc. is now charging its freelancers for “the privilege of being paid for their work in a timely fashion” under a new program called PayMeNow.

A staggering concept. Here’s how it works: On the left are the number of days you have to wait to get paid, on the right is the portion Time Warner will skim off the top for the service.

25 days - 0.5 percent
20 - 1 percent
15 - 1.5 percent
10 - 2 percent
5 - 3 percent
3 - 4 percent

Given how desperate freelancers are to be PAID NOW, largely because companies like Time Inc. never pay them on time, this is a pretty genius idea. In fact, if you take it to its logical conclusion, Time could just pay its freelancers nothing instantly, thereby significantly reducing its content costs.

Has America ever needed a media watchdog more than now? Help us by joining CJR today.

Alexandra Fenwick is an assistant editor at CJR.