Why would a luxury magazine make its Instagram account private?
In the case of HudsonMOD, it’s because freelance writers and photographers were using the comments section to ask for money that they’re owed. (Publisher Shannon Steitz doesn’t return their calls or reply to their emails.)
On March 13, I wrote about journalist Terry Ward getting a cease-and-desist order from the magazine after tweeting about her attempt to collect the $3,460 she’s owed. After that story was posted, I heard from other writers and photographers who had HudsonMOD collection problems.
“I would warn anyone not to get involved with this company on any level,” wrote an art director who had to get a court judgment against the magazine. A photographer told me: “I did two jobs for them. They paid the first one $1000.00 but the second never. …it was $800.”
Last week I heard again from cease-and-desist recipient Ward, who has hired an attorney to go after Steitz. He hasn’t had much luck, though. Here’s what the lawyer told the writer on Friday:
I spoke with Shannon from MOD Media LLC this afternoon. She claims that you harassed her individually through social media and that she [has] spoken to multiple attorneys who advised her to take a no-pay position in regards to her outstanding debt with you. She also indicated that if a lawsuit is instituted, she would file a counterclaim for harassment.
So the publisher, allegedly at the advice of lawyers, is taking a no-pay position because a writer is using every means possible to collect money she’s owed? Sounds like it.
I called Steitz this morning to see what she had to say, but she wasn’t in the office and the secretary wouldn’t give me a cell number. I then called Steitz’s lawyer, who said he remembered me from our brief March conversation. He said “no comment” when I asked about money owed to freelancers, and then hung up on me.
Please email me if you’ve had recent dealings with HudsonMOD and its publisher.