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The Ringer Moves from Medium to Vox

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Melody Bot, May 30, 2017.

  1. Melody Bot

    Your friendly little forum bot. Staff Member

    This article has been imported from for discussion. All of the forum rules still apply.

    The New York Times has reported that Bill Simmons’s website, The Ringer, will be moving from Medium to Vox Media:

    Mr. Simmons, a former ESPN personality, will keep ownership of The Ringer, but Vox will sell advertising for the site and share in the revenue. The Ringer will leave its current home on Medium, where it has been hosted since it began in June 2016.

    Jim Bankoff, Vox’s chief executive, said in a phone interview that the partnership was the first of its type for the company and would allow it to expand its offerings to advertisers.

    First, this seems like a pretty big hit to Medium as a publishing platform for bigger websites. Maybe Medium is just better suited for long-form writing for individuals that don’t want to set up their own blogs, and want something more professional looking than a Facebook note? Second, The Ringer needs to get a whole lot better to survive. The content just isn’t very good. The sportswriting and analysis is thin, the music reviews are mostly a joke, and the pop-culture pieces lack the bite or comedy of Grantland. The Ringer lacks an editorial identity and voice.

    fenway89 likes this.
  2. AshlandATeam


    Grantland was the best sportswriting on the planet, and that may not have been the best part of the site.

    Simmons and ESPN may hate each other, but they need each other. And at the end of the day, we all miss out on excellence over a pissing contest.
  3. Corey Long

    Chord & Quill // The Codex Supporter

    Medium was basically asking traditional revenue publications to leave when they got rid of that part of their business earlier this year. Seems they want to focus on smaller publications or writers that can garner enough attention to work as a subscription model.

    The Ringer is horribly inconsistent though. I feel like writers just publish things without any review, and the opinions, style, and quality are all over the place. I feel like I get one great article for 10 garbage ones.
    KidLightning, fenway89 and Jason Tate like this.
  4. noKings


    I mean, the Ringer has a lot of stuff. I use it for stuff I care about and for the writers I know. Sure, there's good parts and bad parts, but most of the bad parts are stuff I don't care about. So I could care less what they do.
    coleslawed likes this.
  5. bobsheiskawy

    is it the same for you? Prestigious

    the nfl coverage on the ringer is really solid, and some of the political and tech articles are good as well. the music/pop culture things are hit-or-miss.
  6. unconquered1492


    They will be fine.
    1. The Ringer is just a baby, it's going to take some time to find their voice.
    2. It's literally the Grantland staff, so I don't get that complaint.
    3. It's not about long-form articles or even quality writing anymore. They have solid podcasts that appeal to people that appreciate a deep dive; and short buzzfeedy skits/hot-takes if you're into that.
    4. It's better than anything on the main ESPN site.
  7. AshlandATeam


    Zach Lowe, Wesley Morris, Bill Barnwell, Jonah Keri, Andy Greenwald, Charles Pierce. Those guys all wrote regularly - in some cases two to three times a week - for Grantland and don't write for the Ringer.

    Simmons took a lot of people with him in the move. He didn't take everyone, though, and at least for my money, he didn't take the best NBA, NFL, MLB or TV writers with him. He essentially ended up with Grantland's B-team, and it really shows in the writing.
    fenway89 and Jason Tate like this.
  8. ManBearPuig


    I mean can't the same criticisms be levied against this site as well?

    I'm not a huge fan of The Ringer but it is essential a restart of Grantland with less money and I believe it deserves some time work out the kinks before taking potshots at it.
    coleslawed likes this.
  9. Jason Tate May 30, 2017
    (Last edited: May 30, 2017)
    I don't see how, we never used Medium, we don't cover sports analysis, and the voice is basically ... me. It's mostly a one person show. So I don't think any of my criticisms match up. Two totally different kinds of websites. One's supposed to be a mass market publication. This is a one person blog.

    (And they have millions in investment money and something like 50+ employees last I heard.)
    oldjersey and fenway89 like this.
  10. Connor

    we're all a bunch of weirdos on a quest to belong Prestigious

    Honestly trying to compare Grantland/The Ringer to AP/Chorus is one of the dumber things I've seen. The situations, purposes and goals couldn't be more different between the two. Also where one drastically dropped in quality, the other gained.

    Honestly Bill Simmons hasn't been the same since the ESPN debacle, maybe even before that.
    I don't think The Ringer has his attention or care even remotely as much as Grantland did. Half the time I read articles on there I feel like I'm reading an AV club article knockoff. I miss Simmons the writer, and don't care for Simmons the entertainment personality he has kind of become.....

    Anyways long story short, I agree with Jason
    Jason Tate likes this.
  11. Jared Luttrell


    I enjoyed their NBA podcast for a while but Simmons became way too annoying for me during the playoffs to the point that I no longer listen if he is on the podcast. He has a ridiculous bias towards the Celtics because he is a Boston fan and he lets it seep into every bit of analysis and content he was creating. That is fine if it is fan created content, but this was being presented as a professional podcast and just came off as very amateur and unprofessional, to the point he published a Celtics vs Cavs match ups article before game 7 of the previous series was even played.
    AshlandATeam and Jason Tate like this.
  12. Steve_JustAGuy


    The Ringer is not that great and Bill Simmons is even worse.
  13. oldjersey

    Pro Podcaster Supporter

    Have been an extremely loyal Simmons fan for nearly 15 years. I do remember Grantland having some major growing pains initially before it really took off. I check out The Ringer and yeah, it's missing the big name writers I used to look forward to reading on Grantland. I really hope they find their own niche and groove. I think they will. If Simmons could scoop up Jalen Rose and Jacoby I think that would be huge. Not sure how feasible that is but really anything seems possible with ESPN falling apart.

    Also, holy lol at the Grantland/Ringer comparison to this site.
    fenway89, AshlandATeam and Jason Tate like this.
  14. omgrawr May 31, 2017
    (Last edited: May 31, 2017)

    That loneliness is not a function of solitude.

    I miss Grantland quite a bit. It used to be in my daily site rotation. I check The Ringer a couple times a week to see if there is anything on a topic that I care a lot about, but even then it doesn't have the same quality as Grantland. Something is missing. Too many of the topics are "joke" topics that are a waste of time to read. On Grantland there was humor but usually it was included in an article that made some actual points in regard to the topic at hand.

    I still enjoy listening to Bill Simmons' podcast. I think that's the best way to experience anything from Simmons himself. He's a bad TV presence and his writing doesn't particularly grab me, but I really enjoy listening to him.

    I also agree that comparing Chorus to The Ringer is pointless because they are very, very different sites. Chorus, to me, is a place I go to see a "highlight reel" of what's going on around the web regarding things that I'm into in addition to forums where I can have discussions about what's going on. The Ringer contains original content by its own writers and the comments are a minimal part of that experience.
    Jason Tate likes this.
  15. KyleK

    Let's get these people moving faster! Supporter

    The unfortunate reality is that The Ringer doesn't have the financial muscle to afford many of the top writers that gained exposure/platform through Grantland. Thankfully they're all still out there on the web to be read. I like that a lot of my favourite Grantland podcast personalities moved over to the Ringer, but many of those have different roles and don't write as often as they used to. Hopefully with some stability The Ringer will establish some better quality authors, because I do tend to feel like there's more quantity than quality right now, and the tone often isn't quite to my tastes.
    coleslawed likes this.
  16. aoftbsten

    Trusted Supporter

    I enjoy the Ringer for the most part, but for different reasons than I enjoyed Grantland. I enjoy most of their long form content and I've enjoyed a lot of the theme weeks they've tried out (there several great articles written during their Food Week if I recall). The podcast network is a much bigger focus for the site it seems as well. Though I'll say I don't particularly like the more "hot take" nature of the site. I think that's sadly just part of most media now. You need an article out within a couple hours of when something big happens or you're too late. It leads to sloppily written content with not enough thought put into it. I haven't seen any metrics around the site, so I have no way of knowing how it's actually doing though.
    oldjersey likes this.
  17. oldjersey

    Pro Podcaster Supporter

    They really do pop out articles really really fast after something occurs
  18. AshlandATeam


    I read an interview with Simmons where he explained that's purposeful. They see their articles as disposable, and want something posted as soon as possible, assuming that people will be bored after the first word and first take.

    So I suppose they're successful, in that they're doing what they're trying. But I'm not a big fan.
    oldjersey likes this.