When a former unpaid intern for Fox Searchlight Pictures won his lawsuit last week, the news media pondered from all corners: Is the unpaid internship dead? When it comes to major media companies at least, the answer appears to be yes.
In the last 18 months, since the first of unpaid intern lawsuits sent the press into paroxysms, several media heavyweights have begun paying their interns. A few calls this week found these companies are paying interns for the first time:
Viacom Inc., the parent company of MTV, VH1 and Comedy Central, will be paying its interns for the first time this summer.
Meredith Corporation, which publishes a host of magazines, including Better Homes and Gardens, Family Circle, and Ladies' Home Journal, started paying its interns in the past year.
NBC Universal, parent company of NBC, CNBC and MSNBC, introduced a uniform policy of paying its interns in just the past six months.