Bill Simmons unveils ‘The Ringer’

The Ringer

Bill Simmons’ new Grantland venture will be called The Ringer. Simmons announced the new sports website and a launch timeline on Wednesday morning. He also revealed that many ex-Grantland staffers will be part of the project.

The Ringer will be “the exclusive home to all of Simmons’ written material,” according to his spokesman, while HBO will be his home on TV.

The new project will start as an email newsletter in mid-March, while an actual site “will debut sometime in late spring or early summer,” the spokesman said.

Bill Simmons has spent months assembling a team made up of editors, writers, and podcast producers.

Editor-in-Chief Sean Fennessey, and other new hires at The Ringer are alums of Grantland, the ESPN-backed site that Simmons headed until last spring.

After Simmons had a falling out with ESPN, many of his key staffers left the Grantland project. In October the Disney-owned sports network announced that it was closing down the popular sports portal.

Among new hires and former Grantlanders are: Craig Gaines, Bryan Curtis, Ryan O’Hanlon, Danny Chau, Riley McAtee, Joe Fuentes, and Tate Frazier.

The new platform plans to follow in Grantland’s footsteps, offering culture coverage which will be led by Deputy Editor Amanda Dobbins, formerly of Glamour.

“Many more hires for ‘The Ringer’ will be announced in the near future,” the spokesman said.

The site is a product of the Bill Simmons Media Group, a company Simmons recently founded. His podcast network is also a part of the group.

Bill Simmons’ weekly HBO show will start sometime later this year.

Bill Simmons still has a toxic relationship with ESPN. When a fan asked him on Twitter, “What are the lessons [you] learned from running Grantland from a business perspective?,” he responded on Wednesday, “Don’t do it with ESPN.”