The Washington Post recently laid off a columnist because his blog posts didn't get enough web traffic.
Of course, in the old days, the newspaper had no real way to tell which columns got read and which ones didn't. So journalists were lulled into the sense that it didn't really matter. The Times quotes Jay Rosen, a journalism professor at NYU, “It’s an unusual public rationale for serious newspaper people, that’s for sure.”
Wrong tense. It's not going to be unusual for long.
In fact, in a digital world where everything can be measured, we all work on commission. And why not? If you do great work and it works, you should get rewarded. And if you don't, it's hard to see why a rational organization would keep you on.
You don't have to like the coming era of hyper-measurement, but that doesn't mean it's not here.