Bill Simmons: Valuing Trades More Than Friendships

Leather

given himself a skunk spot
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
27,116
In the American President Rewatchables, it appears that Simmons and his co-host confuse John Mahoney with John Spencer. Also suggests that John Mahoney got his big break in Reality Bites, which is just...a totally Bill Simmons thing to think.
 

Marciano490

Urological Expert
SoSH Member
Nov 4, 2007
48,666
In the American President Rewatchables, it appears that Simmons and his co-host confuse John Mahoney with John Spencer. Also suggests that John Mahoney got his big break in Reality Bites, which is just...a totally Bill Simmons thing to think.
Honestly, Simmons acting like things or people don’t exist until he’s aware of and enamored with them is one of my favorite manifestations of his narcissism. It’s hilarious.
 

bbc23

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 6, 2009
899
Honestly, Simmons acting like things or people don’t exist until he’s aware of and enamored with them is one of my favorite manifestations of his narcissism. It’s hilarious.
His newest one is SPAC, it really is a lot of fun
 

johnmd20

mad dog
Lifetime Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Dec 30, 2003
48,952
New York City
Did any non-banking person know what that was until 6 months ago?
No chance. They are relatively new as it is. I think they really popped into the consciousness when Draft Kings went public through a SPAC, Diamond Eagle, earlier this year.
 

kenneycb

Hates Goose Island Beer; Loves Backdoor Play
SoSH Member
Dec 2, 2006
13,966
Tuukka's refugee camp
They’ve been around for a while, want to say at least 20 years but the uptick this year has been crazy. I want to say they were popular in the early-2000s but went dormant for a while until DK, Nikola and a couple other big ones made it all the rage. Note I learned all about this in the last six months.
 

Leather

given himself a skunk spot
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
27,116
The newest attack on Simmons is that he said “Some people voted for Trump because of cancel culture.”

Unless there’s some context I’m missing that seems like a very dumb criticism. He’s obviously correct.
 

ElUno20

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
4,488
I think the issue with Bill on this topic is a little more nuanced. Not this particular attack but as a whole.

He continuously presents himself as "woke" or "getting it" yet in the same breath will both sides it and say "why cant i say such and such anymore".

How i feel on how genuine he is or the issues discussed aside, it's intellectually insulting. You can't do both. And as a minority, he comes across as that guy who thinks it's cool for him to say certain things because he has black or brown friends.

I like simmons enough but he's very out of his depth and stretches himself extremely thin when discussing societal, racial, etc issues. He's a uber rich white male. I'm not feeling sorry for you complaining about having to be a decent human publicly in 2020.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 24, 2002
35,631
The SPAC thing is hilarious because Simmons seems like the sort of person that is targeted as an initial investor from the sponsors. I suspect the pitch went right into his ears and out of his mouth in fairly short order.
 

Kliq

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 31, 2013
15,228
The newest attack on Simmons is that he said “Some people voted for Trump because of cancel culture.”

Unless there’s some context I’m missing that seems like a very dumb criticism. He’s obviously correct.
Unfamiliar with the attacks, but I listened to his show with JackO and he monologues about the election; and he says something along the lines of "I don't know if people can talk to each other anymore, you see it on Twitter...especially if you have a platform like mine. You say one wrong thing, or a quote is taken out of context, and all of a sudden you are being canceled."

I'm not sure if he was referring directly to Trump supporters or anything like that; seemed more like he was depressed about internet culture and tribalism that exists on social media.
 

ifmanis5

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 29, 2007
48,122
Rotten Apple
The take thread is here if you want to dive in...
View: https://twitter.com/ShakerSamman/status/1324810127543693312

I made under $50k a year working for Bill Simmons and I voted for Joe Biden because of concerns about fair labor practices, among dozens of other reasons.
Bill Simmons explaining that white people who make under $50k voted Trump because of concerns about cancel culture and the death of free speech is the second-best thing to come out of this election.
 

Dotrat

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 11, 2002
1,540
Morris County NJ
The take thread is here if you want to dive in...
View: https://twitter.com/ShakerSamman/status/1324810127543693312

I made under $50k a year working for Bill Simmons and I voted for Joe Biden because of concerns about fair labor practices, among dozens of other reasons.
Bill Simmons explaining that white people who make under $50k voted Trump because of concerns about cancel culture and the death of free speech is the second-best thing to come out of this election.
Simmons is now one of many media figures using their privileged platforms to bitch about being cancelled or the possibility of it. And irony weeps.
 

Leather

given himself a skunk spot
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
27,116
Ah I see. It was ostensibly about Trump but was really about him.
 

PC Drunken Friar

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 12, 2003
11,708
South Boston
The take thread is here if you want to dive in...
View: https://twitter.com/ShakerSamman/status/1324810127543693312

I made under $50k a year working for Bill Simmons and I voted for Joe Biden because of concerns about fair labor practices, among dozens of other reasons.
Bill Simmons explaining that white people who make under $50k voted Trump because of concerns about cancel culture and the death of free speech is the second-best thing to come out of this election.
I mean, isn't around 50k for your first job out of college in the journalism world decent?

https://www.linkedin.com/in/shaker-samman-67513585
 

Zedia

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 17, 2005
4,844
Pasadena, CA
His point isn’t that he “only“ got 50k, he was refuting Simmons argument (as related by Marchman) that specifically people who made under 50k voted Trump because of “cancel culture”.
 

PC Drunken Friar

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 12, 2003
11,708
South Boston
His point isn’t that he “only“ got 50k, he was refuting Simmons argument (as related by Marchman) that specifically people who made under 50k voted Trump because of “cancel culture”.
By adding fair labor practices, yes i see it is a shot at BS. And then he threw in a reply to support @ringerunion
 

ManicCompression

Member
SoSH Member
May 14, 2015
327
Isn't the obvious difference that Shaker Samman is a guy who's in his early 20s, was lucky enough to go to Duke, land a $50K a year job right out of college in an elite industry, write high profile columns in that job, get to live in Los Angeles, and has an entire career ahead of him while Simmons' theoretical Trump voter who lives in Arkansas has a much lower chance in life to make more than that?

Like, what specific fair labor practices is The Ringer not following? What exactly is the charge here?
 

Kliq

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 31, 2013
15,228
Samman is full of shit and had no idea how good he had it working for The Ringer right of college.
 

Leather

given himself a skunk spot
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
27,116
Isn't the obvious difference that Shaker Samman is a guy who's in his early 20s, was lucky enough to go to Duke, land a $50K a year job right out of college in an elite industry, write high profile columns in that job, get to live in Los Angeles, and has an entire career ahead of him while Simmons' theoretical Trump voter who lives in Arkansas has a much lower chance in life to make more than that?

Like, what specific fair labor practices is The Ringer not following? What exactly is the charge here?
It doesn’t sound like this is a fair labor/ Ringer issue. It’s more of a “Simmons said something revealing about himself” issue.

This isn’t a criticism of the man, but he should hire a PR person.
 

Kliq

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 31, 2013
15,228
Bill's Book of Basketball podcast on Allen Iverson with JA Adande is terrific. Bill and Adande should just do every episode together; they just trade great stories.
 

luckiestman

Son of the Harpy
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
20,797
Bill's Book of Basketball podcast on Allen Iverson with JA Adande is terrific. Bill and Adande should just do every episode together; they just trade great stories.
JA was great on a past episode. I havent caught this one yet. Bill is the true Captain Intangibles. I don’t know exactly what he does to facilitate but I often like people with Bill more than I like them elsewhere and Bill is always just Bill.

I think Adande’s story that killed me was something like he played pickup with Shaq
 

Kliq

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 31, 2013
15,228
JA was great on a past episode. I havent caught this one yet. Bill is the true Captain Intangibles. I don’t know exactly what he does to facilitate but I often like people with Bill more than I like them elsewhere and Bill is always just Bill.

I think Adande’s story that killed me was something like he played pickup with Shaq
Yeah, the Shaq episode was the previous one he was on last year. I've enjoyed the other episodes with other names, but Adande is great because he has the beat reporting chops and has a bunch of different stories from covering these guys, which works well with Bill's more outside observations.
 

CaptainLaddie

dj paul pfieffer
SoSH Member
Sep 6, 2004
31,328
the district
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/19/business/media/the-ringer-union-bill-simmons.html
The head coach of the Golden State Warriors. A former ace of the New York Yankees. A onetime star of “The Bachelorette.”

Steve Kerr, C. C. Sabathia and Rachel Lindsay were among the roughly 25 outside contributors to host or co-host new podcasts this year at The Ringer, the digital media company founded and run by the former ESPN personality Bill Simmons. The influx of celebrity talent being brought on as contractors has raised concerns among many full-time employees, who say it may close off their opportunities for advancement and weaken the company’s union.
 

jose melendez

Earl of Acie
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Oct 23, 2003
25,163
Washington DC
That's a really interesting piece. I have a fair amount of sympathy for the union for what appears to be Simmons retatliating against union members, and it seems pretty clear Simmons is trying to undercut the union (see the Rusillo thing). On the other hand, it's a site focused, in one way or another, on celebrity. I think it's hard to have a position arguing that bringing in celebrities is unfair. After all, half the site boils down to lets follow the insane minutia of the lives and careers of actors, musicians and sportmen because they are more fun and interesting than the rest of us.
 

Kliq

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 31, 2013
15,228
The Ringer makes basically all of its money at this point off of podcasts. That was what the Spotify sale was about. The Ringer now has a lot of money to throw at established names who already have a platform, to drive new listeners to The Ringer. I understand the frustration of the writing staff, who see opportunities for advancement in breaking into podcasting (since there is little future in print) being handed to celebrities, but unfortunately that is the way the business works. The business at The Ringer has changed; its big podcasting now, and they are not going to give opportunities to young people the way they might have at the start.
 

johnmd20

mad dog
Lifetime Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Dec 30, 2003
48,952
New York City
That's a really interesting piece. I have a fair amount of sympathy for the union for what appears to be Simmons retatliating against union members, and it seems pretty clear Simmons is trying to undercut the union (see the Rusillo thing). On the other hand, it's a site focused, in one way or another, on celebrity. I think it's hard to have a position arguing that bringing in celebrities is unfair. After all, half the site boils down to lets follow the insane minutia of the lives and careers of actors, musicians and sportmen because they are more fun and interesting than the rest of us.
As Kliq said, The Ringer makes almost all of its money with podcasts. The writing is basically a vanity project. Obviously it's in the company's best interest to continue to focus on the thing that actually brings in the money.
 

tbb345

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 23, 2010
1,588
As Kliq said, The Ringer makes almost all of its money with podcasts. The writing is basically a vanity project. Obviously it's in the company's best interest to continue to focus on the thing that actually brings in the money.
This is true but it’s missing a point made in the article.
Isn’t part of the problem that Simmons either isn’t letting the new podcasters join the union (in the case of Russillo) or hiring them as contractors? That seems to be more of the complaint within the article than focusing on podcasting instead of writing
 

johnmd20

mad dog
Lifetime Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Dec 30, 2003
48,952
New York City
This is true but it’s missing a point made in the article.
Isn’t part of the problem that Simmons either isn’t letting the new podcasters join the union (in the case of Russillo) or hiring them as contractors? That seems to be more of the complaint within the article than focusing on podcasting instead of writing
Well, Rusillo obviously got a great deal for what he's doing for the Ringer and most likely didn't join the Union as part of whatever deal he made with Simmons. I am pretty sure Rusillo's podcast is pretty successful because it's awesome.(I just looked it up, he's 9th on the sports list, ahead of Lowe, Cowherd, Woj, and Matthew Berry. That's a decent level, to say the least)

But if Rusillo didn't join the Union as a favor to Simmons, it's fair to call it shady, because Rusillo is a bigger name than most and if he joined the Union, it would have given it more power. But the complaint about the other contractors doesn't really hold water, because they really are outside contractors.

This just seems like employees griping because the company is bringing in bigger stars. What can you do, the company wants to grow. Letting Kyle Brandt(who is on the NFL network and was at least a small name before he started the podcast) do an absolutely awesome podcast seems like the better business move than giving it to someone nobody knows. Stars get the downloads and they don't need to be trained. They are ready to go Day 1.

I don't think there is a clear answer. Concepcion is tremendous, so he upgraded his situation by going outside the company. We'll see how he does, but it would be hard to imagine him not being a star. I think letting him go was a mistake by Simmons, pay him the bread, he's talented, brilliant, and hilarious. But the other people who have left the Ringer aren't even worth looking at. And people always come and go at media companies.
 

ninjacornelius

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 18, 2005
477
Austin, TX
This just seems like employees griping because the company is bringing in bigger stars.
I don't think that's the case. If these high-profile people were being brought in as employees, not contractors, and allowed to join the union, then I suspect the Ringer rank-and-file would be far more accommodating. I think the main gripe is that management is engaging in union-busting, won't come to the bargaining table regarding a CBA, and won't clearly define what employees can do to advance their careers.

But setting aside my pinko tendency to side with labor in all matters, I don't see how alienating the writers is an effective strategy for Simmons or Spotify. The Ringer seemed very good at developing podcast talent, and a good chunk of it came from the site's writers or editors (Concepcion, Rubin, Serrano, Ryan, etc.). Cutting off that pipeline in favor of splashing cash for celebrity contractors doesn't seem like a great use of resources to me.
 

JCizzle

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 11, 2006
13,591
I don't think that's the case. If these high-profile people were being brought in as employees, not contractors, and allowed to join the union, then I suspect the Ringer rank-and-file would be far more accommodating. I think the main gripe is that management is engaging in union-busting, won't come to the bargaining table regarding a CBA, and won't clearly define what employees can do to advance their careers.

But setting aside my pinko tendency to side with labor in all matters, I don't see how alienating the writers is an effective strategy for Simmons or Spotify. The Ringer seemed very good at developing podcast talent, and a good chunk of it came from the site's writers or editors (Concepcion, Rubin, Serrano, Ryan, etc.). Cutting off that pipeline in favor of splashing cash for celebrity contractors doesn't seem like a great use of resources to me.
I dunno, I look at the Sports Hub and see lower level folks busting their asses to start and gain reps on podcasts that probably don't get a ton of listeners (e.g. Ty Anderson, Bankroll Boys). Unless there's some mechanism that prevents these folks from doing the same thing with their own podcasts outside the Ringer umbrella, I think that's probably an easy first step. I don't get the impression that the Sports Hub is paying them to do that outside of whatever ad money they bring in, but I could be wrong.
 

johnmd20

mad dog
Lifetime Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Dec 30, 2003
48,952
New York City
I don't think that's the case. If these high-profile people were being brought in as employees, not contractors, and allowed to join the union, then I suspect the Ringer rank-and-file would be far more accommodating. I think the main gripe is that management is engaging in union-busting, won't come to the bargaining table regarding a CBA, and won't clearly define what employees can do to advance their careers.

But setting aside my pinko tendency to side with labor in all matters, I don't see how alienating the writers is an effective strategy for Simmons or Spotify. The Ringer seemed very good at developing podcast talent, and a good chunk of it came from the site's writers or editors (Concepcion, Rubin, Serrano, Ryan, etc.). Cutting off that pipeline in favor of splashing cash for celebrity contractors doesn't seem like a great use of resources to me.
You might be right about the union busting, that sees to be what is happening. But Rubin and Ryan are management, not Union. And I can't see how focusing on podcasts is a bad idea for the Ringer, considering there just isn't any money in writing on the internet. People don't read, they watch or listen.

And buying talent is usually easier than developing it. That is why free agents in sports are so valuable. They are known quantities.
 

ninjacornelius

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 18, 2005
477
Austin, TX
But Rubin and Ryan are management, not Union.
Yep, you're right. I kind of conflated my "the union is pissed off at management" and "The Ringer is marginalizing the website and its stable of talent in favor of big-name podcasts" points. They're related, but I should have explained myself better.
 

ninjacornelius

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 18, 2005
477
Austin, TX
I dunno, I look at the Sports Hub and see lower level folks busting their asses to start and gain reps on podcasts that probably don't get a ton of listeners (e.g. Ty Anderson, Bankroll Boys). Unless there's some mechanism that prevents these folks from doing the same thing with their own podcasts outside the Ringer umbrella, I think that's probably an easy first step. I don't get the impression that the Sports Hub is paying them to do that outside of whatever ad money they bring in, but I could be wrong.
I would be shocked if Ringer employees don't have no-compete agreements in place, especially when it comes to podcasts.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

posts 18% useful shit
SoSH Member
Nov 17, 2010
11,776
Jesus, the Ringer union has started to sound like a bunch of fucking crybabies.

A media outlet has brought in knowledgable and popular personalities to boost ratings. Boo fucking hoo.
 

The Social Chair

Member
SoSH Member
Feb 17, 2010
4,318
The Ringer Union is clearing using their friendships with NYT writers as negotiating leverage and it's not working. That's the 2nd article from the NYT that doesn't interrogate these claims at all.

- Concepcion left for money and on good terms. That happens all the time in media.
- Calling O'Shaughnessy a star is a super stretch. Her new podcating company has under 5K followers on Twitter.
- The first NYT article criticized Simmons for not having more people of color on the Ringer podcast network, but this article doesn't even mention that the new contractors are overwhelming black and the staff writers are white.
 

Mystic Merlin

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 21, 2007
35,897
Hartford, CT
I admire them for doing anything they can to get concessions in what is a brutal industry for all but a few, but this is not an effective tactic if they’re looking for monetary concessions and some kind of IP rights (the latter is a pipe dream).
 

TheYellowDart5

Hustle and bustle
SoSH Member
Apr 16, 2003
8,799
NYC
Jesus, the Ringer union has started to sound like a bunch of fucking crybabies.

A media outlet has brought in knowledgable and popular personalities to boost ratings. Boo fucking hoo.
A lot of people here are staggeringly inconsiderate when it comes to labor issues.

If you worked at a place for years making a salary that was average at best for your position and for the work you did, and your wealthy well-connected boss sold your company for a massive sum and then turned around and started using other wealthy well-connected people to do the work you're already doing while also failing to increase your compensation, you wouldn't be too happy about it, would you? The point isn't that Simmons and the Ringer are using famous people to sell the product; it's that they're using famous people on a contract basis to undercut their own employees and sabotage a union drive. That's immoral, unethical, and just plain wrong. It's Simmons' attempt to get out from having to compensate his employees fairly or put the protections in place that they want.

I understand that there isn't a lot of sympathy for the people who work in media and write about sports and pop culture complaining about pay, but what the Ringer is doing is categorically union busting. Add to that a Ringer Union tweet from today about how the bosses there are flat-out not negotiating with them on their demands, and it's pretty clear that Simmons et al aren't interested in playing fair with their employees. To call them "fucking crybabies" for demanding a fair wage and worker protections and not to be undercut by their boss and his rich friends is ignorant and dickish as all hell.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

posts 18% useful shit
SoSH Member
Nov 17, 2010
11,776
A lot of people here are staggeringly inconsiderate when it comes to labor issues.

If you worked at a place for years making a salary that was average at best for your position and for the work you did, and your wealthy well-connected boss sold your company for a massive sum and then turned around and started using other wealthy well-connected people to do the work you're already doing while also failing to increase your compensation, you wouldn't be too happy about it, would you? The point isn't that Simmons and the Ringer are using famous people to sell the product; it's that they're using famous people on a contract basis to undercut their own employees and sabotage a union drive. That's immoral, unethical, and just plain wrong. It's Simmons' attempt to get out from having to compensate his employees fairly or put the protections in place that they want.

I understand that there isn't a lot of sympathy for the people who work in media and write about sports and pop culture complaining about pay, but what the Ringer is doing is categorically union busting. Add to that a Ringer Union tweet from today about how the bosses there are flat-out not negotiating with them on their demands, and it's pretty clear that Simmons et al aren't interested in playing fair with their employees. To call them "fucking crybabies" for demanding a fair wage and worker protections and not to be undercut by their boss and his rich friends is ignorant and dickish as all hell.
Yeah. This is all bullshit to me. Sorry.

You can call it union busting or whatever you want. Katie Baker or Dan Devine arent gonna bring in shit for listeners compared to CC Sabathia or Steve Kerr. Simmons job is to bring as many listeners to the table as possible. And if he can bring in big names for cheap, it's a no-brainer. Kerr is a buddy. CC is trying to grow his podcast brand. Same for Rajai Davis, who has a lot of league connections. You call it "undercutting" his staff. Id argue it's not Simmons job to ensure the people who make the Ringer less money are prioritized over the business. The ROI for high profile names is obviously there. This is how business works.

I can understand staff and union concern. Its justified. Their bargaining strength is being minimized. It's being minimized because their role and influence is being minimized. The time to strike was when they had power. Now they dont. When The Ringer started, people werent even sure what the business model for a podcast company would be or how it would survive. There was no chance it could afford high profile podcasters, nor would any of those athletes do it. Fast forward half a decade, and the landscape has changed.

Today, the most profitable and successful way forward for The Ringer is with high-profile podcasters. If that makes more tenured staffers less valuable, so be it. They werent guaranteed a hockey stick shape career trajectory for five years. They took the job. They were paid for it. Hopefully they learned things they can apply at their next job and move another rung up the ladder. This is how it goes for most people.

So, no. I dont agree. I dont think The Ringer should stop hiring high-profile names if it's bringing in more listeners and driving more revenue. I'm sympathetic to the union. Lifes hard. Wear a helmet.
 

Mugsy's Jock

Eli apologist
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 28, 2000
12,660
UWS, NYC
I’m a strong labor advocate — I was a Teamster in for crissakes, forced to join the union at my summer job at a warehouse in the 70s. And my membership got me nothing for a substantial initiation fee because I was classified as a part time employee and had zero seniority. But I was happy to pay it, seeing the benefit to my much older full-time colleagues whose union got them safe working conditions and a solid middle class lifestyle.

Yet I have a hard time sympathizing with most of the complaints cited in the article. The summary list of objections from the employee side lists:

1. across the board annual increases
Agreed. Ringer employees should organize to receive a competitive wages and benefits, obviously in line with whatever is paid at a podcast aggregator like Wondery of choice. You could also argue the right basis is websites like Buzzfeed or media companies like Warner Bros, or journalism outfits like the New York Times. I agree here. Pay competitive wages and provide at least standard annual cost of living increases.

2. ownership of derivative work and IP
Puh-leeze. No media company allows employees to own the content they work on while under the employ of that company if it’s related to their work for that company.

3. editorial pathways to promotion
I get it when this relates to, say, a promotion from Writer to Senior Writer. You get enough stuff published, you deserve some ups. However a great writer might not have the talent to be an editor...or for that matter any kind of manager. I’ve been on the losing side of a fight for promotion at my major media company for a couple years, so believe me, I sympathize...but companies do not provide promotion for excellent work, they provide them because a.) it is organizationally advantageous, or b.) they are at risk of losing the employee to a competitor.

4. not in the list but clearly important is the use of contractors.
This is a big deal — when I worked at MTV Netowrks the company had a history of cycling freelancers (and, worse, interns) in and out to avoid hiring employees long enough to get benefits. And that sucked and, eventually, was addressed to some degree. But when it comes to performance talent like podcast hosts, it’s not so clear. Getting a former professional athlete with connections and inside stories (eg Kerr, CC, even Shazier), or a nationally-known journalist (eg Schreger) has a leg up to get podcast ads monetized over a talented writer. It’s hard to insist Pete Carroll join a union to host a podcast that he works on for a few weeks, and runs for a few months. That said, there should be a mechanism once a host appears in a certain number of programs in a specified period of time to compel union membership.

So I’m sympathetic to wages and annual cost of living raises and benefits and workplace conditions ...but not most of the rest. What I expect this is really about is Spotify. That company undoubtedly does not want its Ringer employees to enjoy benefits and protections the rest of its employees do not.

Had Simmons really wanted to be generous, he could’ve doled out contracts with more favorable wages before the Spotify deal was done. (Fox did that with its most important employees just before the Disney acquisition). The downside is that could’ve reduced the size of his windfall, or potentially scotched the deal altogether.
 
Last edited:

cromulence

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 25, 2009
5,427
A lot of people here are staggeringly inconsiderate when it comes to labor issues.
Not just here - it's endlessly frustrating to me to watch this country turn its back on unions without even knowing why they're doing it. Smart people who should know better - like the people in this thread happily shitting on The Ringer union and cheering on rich assholes like Bill Simmons - seem to love carrying water for management to do whatever the fuck they want to workers. It's fucking depressing.
 

shlincoln

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 16, 2009
1,689
What I expect this is really about is Spotify. That company undoubtedly does not want its Ringer employees to enjoy benefits and protections the rest of its employees do not.
Spotify is absolutely a big part of it. Gimlet is another podcast company trying to unionize after Spotify acquired them, and iirc I've seen similar complaints about the pace of the negotiations.

Not just here - it's endlessly frustrating to me to watch this country turn its back on unions without even knowing why they're doing it. Smart people who should know better - like the people in this thread happily shitting on The Ringer union and cheering on rich assholes like Bill Simmons - seem to love carrying water for management to do whatever the fuck they want to workers. It's fucking depressing.
Sports fan siding with the team over the players? why I never.
 

JCizzle

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 11, 2006
13,591
Not just here - it's endlessly frustrating to me to watch this country turn its back on unions without even knowing why they're doing it. Smart people who should know better - like the people in this thread happily shitting on The Ringer union and cheering on rich assholes like Bill Simmons - seem to love carrying water for management to do whatever the fuck they want to workers. It's fucking depressing.
I dunno, I think most people are happy to admit that Bill is in the "rich asshole" stage of his career as a manager. It's also possible to point out that maybe the union is reaching a bit on certain points. Like the Duke kid two years out of school cited earlier in this thread who was complaining about a salary that seemed pretty competitive for his position and stage of his career. On one hand I feel for him, it sucks not making a ton of money, but at the same time I think a lot of us started out with pretty low salaries in big cities for the first few years of professional life. At least in my situation, that's something I'd complain about to my friends and family, I never would have blasted it over Twitter while looking for a new job. Those nits aside, most of what they're pushing for is admirable and not really up for debate.
 
Last edited:

Leather

given himself a skunk spot
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
27,116
Not just here - it's endlessly frustrating to me to watch this country turn its back on unions without even knowing why they're doing it. Smart people who should know better - like the people in this thread happily shitting on The Ringer union and cheering on rich assholes like Bill Simmons - seem to love carrying water for management to do whatever the fuck they want to workers. It's fucking depressing.
There is some similarity to what's going on with writers trying to unionize and how people perceived the players for griping about wanting to unionize and enforcing their collective bargaining rights. That is, "It's a dream job! Stop complaining and be happy! Thousands of people would love to be in your shoes!" But at the end of the day, thousands of people cannot hit a baseball being thrown 90 miles an hour, and thousands of people cannot write as well as most of the writers that are trying to unionize.

And demands are just an opening salvo of the negotiation process. I doubt the Ringer union expects to get 2/3 of what they are asking for, but that's how the game is played. You roll your eyes and move forward with a counter. And to be fair, Simmons and Ringer management also have the right to posture however they see fit to protect their business interests. That being said, doing things like unfollowing former writers because they post in support of the current staff's unionization efforts is petty and unprofessional, and Simmons deserves to be called out as such. It sure seems like Simmons is taking this personally, and in the end that doesn't help anybody because at the end of the day, no matter how this ends up, these people will still have to work together, and it's not in the Ringer's best interests to be receiving such shitty press. It would go a long way, I think, if Simmons approached this more impassively and just "Hey, they're doing what they gotta do, it's business it's not personal. Hope it gets resolved amicably at some point soon."
 

Pablo's TB Lover

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Sep 10, 2017
2,482
But at the end of the day, thousands of people cannot hit a baseball being thrown 90 miles an hour, and thousands of people cannot write as well as most of the writers that are trying to unionize.
However to expand on this, a super majority of people KNOW they cannot hit a baseball thrown at 90 miles an hour, but social media has made like half the country THINK they are journalists/writers. That doesn't make the actual writers any less talented, but makes corporate management think their staff is quite replaceable.
 

shaggydog2000

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Apr 5, 2007
8,359
I dunno, I think most people are happy to admit that Bill is in the "rich asshole" stage of his career as a manager. It's also possible to point out that maybe the union is reaching a bit on certain points. Like the Duke kid two years out of school cited earlier in this thread who was complaining about a salary that seemed pretty competitive for his position and stage of his career. On one hand I feel for him, it sucks not making a ton of money, but at the same time I think a lot of us started out with pretty low salaries in big cities for the first few years of professional life. At least in my situation, that's something I'd complain about to my friends and family, I never would have blasted it over Twitter while looking for a new job. Those nits aside, most of what they're pushing for is admirable and not really up for debate.
At their core Unions are about creating a labor value that is artificially higher than the current market. Sometimes this is because a labor market is artificially distorted, let's use a coal mine in WV that employs 90% of a town in 1890 as an example. There is little ability to find information about jobs in other locations, and monopsony conditions prevents fair negotiation in that location. In that case a union asking for industry standard levels of safety procedures and a wage equivalent to those in a less distorted market seems very fair. In this case, the Ringers union appears to exist in a very fair and open market where there is an ease of movement, and what seem to be relatively fair if not high wages for their industry. Looking at their demands a lot of people are seeing it as over-reach instead of evening out an unfair market. Unless you see all labor markets as inherently unfair, which seems to be a popular opinion.