As most of you know, the work we do for this site is almost 100% for fun. No one is making a living off of the analysis, or highlights, or Public Skates, or community-building that we do here. I’ve been at this site in some capacity since 2013, and consider myself lucky to be here. I like writing, I like hockey, and this platform gives me an outlet to share scorching takes with the masses.
There have been pieces written ad nauseam about Vox/SB Nation’s business model, and while we’ve mostly stayed out of it sav, we did decide as a site back in June to go dark in support of the Vox Union.
Last week, SB Nation, with no notice, dismissed all of its California-based contractors, effective just a few weeks from now. To sum it up, it’s due to a new California law that makes it harder to count employees as “independent contractors,” and thus pay them less.
Politics aside, this law going into effect in a few days wasn’t a surprise. It’s been on the books for a bit. Still, many of SB Nation’s California site managers or contributors weren’t even told that they were being let go until after that link above had been Tweeted out publicly. While it’s true that there will be some full-time jobs to come out of these cuts, the reality is that the contributors who make a few posts a month and are key to making these sites communities were essentially shown the door.
Will it make a change? Maybe not, but if nothing else, it might help remind the higher-ups that there are real people on the ends of these contractor agreements, and encourage more open communication with the people who power this network in the future.
I’m not dumb: something similar will probably come to Massachusetts in the coming months or years, but we’ll all do our best until that day comes. As stated above, I consider myself lucky to be a part of this group, but that luck doesn’t mean things couldn’t be handled better network-wide. Hopefully some good comes of all of this, and the people who helped run the California sites are able to land on their feet, be it as SBN employees, at other sites, or even under banners of their own.
In the meantime, we’d like to thank you for making this the best Bruins community on the web. Many of you shared messages of support when we took a break for the union strike, and hopefully that sentiment makes it here too.
We’ll continue to do what we can to bring you good stuff until we can’t anymore. Because of the shuttering, we won't have a Public Skate, but will have a recap of the Caps game the next morning.
See you Tuesday.