Bill Simmons Launches ‘The Ringer’ Digital Venture

Bill Simmons
Courtesy of HBO

Bill Simmons, founder of the Grantland sports and media site who was let go by ESPN last year, has announced his next project: the Ringer, a digital venture slated to launch later in 2016.

Simmons announced the Ringer in a tweet Wednesday:

The Ringer is slated to launch an email newsletter in mid-March, followed by the website’s debut in late spring or early summer.

Simmons has recruited more than a half-dozen ex-Grantland staffers for the Ringer. Those include editor-in-chief Sean Fennessey, editor-at-large Bryan Curtis and associate editor Danny Chau. In addition, the Ringer has hired Amanda Dobbins, former senior editor at Glamour, as deputy editor for culture.

Launch of the Ringer comes as Simmons also preps the debut of a new talk show for HBO that will span TV and digital. The L.A.-based digital media personality didn’t reveal details of the Ringer’s scope of coverage, but it is expected to cover wide-ranging topics like Grantland. The new venture is operating under the aegis of the Bill Simmons Media Group.

The testy relationship between Simmons and ESPN culminated in the sports giant declining to renew his contract in May 2015, after they had publicly clashed on issues including Simmons’ criticism of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s handling of domestic violence concerns and other league scandals. ESPN shuttered Grantland last October.

After leaving ESPN, Simmons cut a deal with HBO for a weekly talk show. He hired two “Daily Show With Jon Stewart” alums — Stuart Miller as an exec producer and Jason Ross as head writer — as well as former Grantland contributor Kim Gamble as a co-exec producer.

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