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Tribune Publishing Company Emailed Their Reporters About Bonuses. It Was a Phishing Test.

Journalists who work for Tribune Publishing Company — which owns the Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, Hartford Courant, Orlando Sentinel, New York Daily News, and several other newspapers — were sent an email to their staff about bonuses this year. Given that these newspapers have been subject to non-stop layoffs and other cost-cutting measures — furloughs, newsroom closures — for well over a decade now, receiving this email about bonuses ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 must have been a remarkably wonderful surprise. Except, the email was actually intended to test their susceptibility to phishing scams.

These tweets are from Justin Fenton of the Baltimore Sun and Gregory Pratt of the Chicago Tribune:

David Heinzmann, also of the Chicago Tribune, interpreted the email as to say executives would get the bonuses for enacting cost cuts (and thus be even more tantalizing to click):

However you read it: Suffice to say morale is not high at these outlets as far as their parent company is concerned. Recall a few weeks ago, when longtime Chicago Tribune baseball reporter Paul Sullivan wondered aloud how many journalists had to be furloughed to pay for an ad at Wrigley Field.

Written by Ryan Glasspiegel

Ryan Glasspiegel grew up in Connecticut, graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and lives in Chicago. Before OutKick, he wrote for Sports Illustrated and The Big Lead. He enjoys expensive bourbon and cheap beer.

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