As you may already know, some significant changes have happened at SB Nation, which will affect the future of Five For Howling. Shortly after being informed that the head of hockey content had been laid off, I received an email advising that Five For Howling “is one of the impacted sites and will no longer be managed and monetized by Vox Media.”
I am incredibly proud of our work at Five For Howling, both during my time as Site Manager and before. It was always important to me that Five For Howling existed as a place for coverage of the Arizona Coyotes, a team that has never gotten the proper media coverage nationally or in Arizona. I often felt that any additional attention we could give Arizona hockey was a win, even if we could not provide as much as I would like.
When I first took over, my goal was consistent coverage, especially regarding game previews. I hoped that having that consistent baseline would be a solid foundation to grow Five For Howling into one of the best sources for Arizona Coyotes coverage. And while I believe it was a good starting place, I feel we fell well short of my vision of the site.
I have been the Site Manager of Five For Howling since June 2019 after joining the site in late 2011. During that time, I was paid a monthly stipend of $250, with occasional bonuses for sponsored advertisements. Nobody else received a paycheck for writing for Five For Howling, making us one of the least expensive sites on the network.
Covering a team like the Arizona Coyotes can be difficult, especially during the past three and half years of the Coyotes. I never felt comfortable asking people to work for free, and I know that we could have been a better website if we had a budget to pay our contributors what they were worth. Because of that, I want to thank James Reeve, Robyn Leaño, Mike Gould, Panagiotis Mavridis, Sarah Bird, Rose Ford, Nathaniel Chance, Seth Juneac, and Brandon Sparks for their contributions to Five For Howling during my tenure, and I would like to thank Jeffrey Cherry for his time assisting with the Five For Howling Twitter page. They put in a lot of hard work for no compensation, and they truly are the heroes of Five For Howling.
I would also specifically like to thank Steph Driver. Steph hired me and fought tooth and nail to keep Five For Howling on SB Nation. Without her, this likely would have happened before the season began.
So what comes next? Honestly, I do not know. I am the only person under contract at Five For Howling, and I was informed that my contract would end at the end of February. At this time, I do not know what SB Nation plans to do with this website. Once I know more, I will pass it along, and I plan to continue covering the team until my contract is up.