Journalists are bristling with outrage after receiving an apparent bonus offer that turned out to be a hoax—sent by their boss, the Daily Beast reports. Tribune Publishing, which owns major papers like the Chicago Tribune and New York Daily News, sent the email offering congratulations and saying bonuses of $5,000 to $10,000 were being paid out. To see the specific bonus amount, the recipient was instructed to click a link. But clickers ran into the message, "Oops! You clicked on a simulated phishing test!" along with advice on how to avoid online scams.
Worse, the original email claimed bonuses were only feasible after "ongoing efforts to cut our costs"—an allusion to a year of reporter pay cuts, buyouts, and allegations of mismanagement at Tribune Publishing, Vice reports. "This is a heartless, insulting and tone-deaf exercise, @tribpub," the Chicago Tribune Guild tweeted. "What a profoundly cruel way to taunt journalists after you just stole three weeks of our pay to hand more cash to shareholders and hedge fund vultures." A Tribune rep quickly apologized, saying "the company had no intention of offending any of its employees. In retrospect, the topic of the email was misleading and insensitive, and the company apologizes for its use." (Read more newspapers stories.)