I stand corrected: the Tribune's paying $5 per 1,000 local hits, the equivalent of -- well, carfare. Bill Adee, the paper's innovation chief, tells me Chicago Now has some 65 bloggers and last month recorded 700,000 pageviews. That works out to $3,500 split 65 ways, or about $54 a blogger for the month.
Of course, all bloggers aren't created equal. Deadspin reports that Jay Mariotti may join the Chicago Now ranks in August, when he finally emerges from local-media exile. Mariotti quit the Sun-Times 11 months ago (for reminders of the emotional reaction to his departure, click here and here) but was forbidden by his contract to cross the street to the Tribune until a year had gone by. He's been writing a column for AOL, and if he jumps to the Tribune it won't be for $54 a month.
Adee, who once upon a time was Mariotti's editor at the Sun-Times, refused to comment on the possibility Mariotti will sign on and told me how much he's enjoyed not talking about him. But how long can that last? I wondered. "It can last a while," he said inscrutably.