You can pick out what that economic problem is here:
According to the Columbia report, Erdely, who spent six months working on the piece,
The magazine provided unfettered access during the investigation, including a 405-page record of Erdely’s interviews and research notes as well as access to original audio recordings,
On Sunday evening, the 9,000-word article, A Rape on Campus, was removed from Rolling Stone’s website
6 months, 405 pages of notes, in order to produce 9,000 words of complete bollocks?
That’s a serious economic problem they’ve got there.
This long form journalism is what the Americans consider to be the epitome, the acme, of journalism. And there’s no way at all that Rolling Stone paid less than $50k to get it. Quite possibly double that with expenses.