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We are Going, going, but not gone yet

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Change is in the air

MLB: New York Yankees at Los Angeles Angels Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

I didn’t sleep well last night. I and 5 other writers on the masthead were given our pink slips yesterday. They have a time limit of up to March 31st should we choose to accept that. I love this amazing community and being the site manager for you all. It’s an honor. And one that is being taken away.

As most of you know by know - On Monday morning, every single contractor working for SB Nation sites in California was fired. Not immediately, but it’s coming. This even affects writers who are not based in California as SBN has taken a blanket stance that their California team sites will employ zero contractors. Period.

The details were sent to all paid writers via email and also posted on Twitter in a post titled “Thank you California” which I guess sounds better than “haha!”. You can read it in its entirety here. In that post, SBN blames the change on the new California Independent Contractor law which was aimed at companies like Uber. Unfortunately these companies have found away around the law and companies like SBN have not. The net effect is they decided to remove all paid contractors and will be replacing us with paid VOX employees (aka Scabs?). The details are still murky but it would seem there will be a pool of said employees (a small pool) who will manage all of SBN’s 25 team sites.

Some points from that article include:

  • “continuing to invest more in strengthening our communities in 2020” (this will be difficult since there will be no dedicated site manager or editor and this site could likely end up being run by someone who is not even an Angels (or baseball) fan).
  • We will all “have the option (but no obligation) to continue blogging on those communities whenever (and only when) they like. They will be the first of our new Community Insiders – with a special lane to write on the site and a special place on the masthead. Community Insiders’ participation in events, blogging and any other community activities will always be 100 percent voluntary with no obligations to SB Nation at all.” (read this as - we want you still write but the site, but only a little bit and we are not going to pay you and you will lose your prominent spot on the masthead.)

You can blame SBN, or you can blame https://twitter.com/LorenaSGonzalez (who created this travesty of a bill) - or maybe it’s a bit of both. For her part, Ms. Gonzalez is hotly defending this law as necessary. She doesn’t understand that some people WANT to work

part time on their own and have flexibility. She also is out of touch with reality, thinking that we are all being converted to employees. The reality is 200 people will lose their paying gigs so that 20 of them can get full time jobs. And yes, the other read from her post is that SBN/Vox has been contemplating this move for a while. I’d be surprised if they don’t do it with all their team sites eventually - AB5 or not.

What does this mean for Halos Heaven? It certainly does not look good. I do know that I will not be the site manager for much longer. At best until March 31 but probably a much shorter tenure than that. I love this site and this community but the truth is - this community is about more than just “HalosHeaven.com.” I’m not sure where I or the rest of the staff will end up, but wherever we do - I hope you will support us. Will we go to a new site? Maybe. Will we still be here long term? Unlikely. Will this site be the same without rabid fans running it? Doubtful. Can we create this same community somewhere else?

I understand the responses to this post could get political. Yes, we have a no politics rule but we can lighten that up a LITTLE bit here because it’s inevitable. PLEASE be respectful and considerate of your fellow community members even if you think their political views are stupid. We are all part of this amazing community with many different views so let’s keep it amazing. Don’t make us have to delete or police your comments please :)

For now - we aren’t going anywhere and we’ll keep doing our best to pump out amazing content.