The Ringer

Remagellan

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2 of the 5 I listed are not Ringer employees (unsure where Greenwald sits exactly) and Russillo isn’t exactly a “fall in line with authority” type and often pushes back on Simmons, so that’s a tenuous use of “most”.

This makes sense and where I fall. You don’t get the chemistry that Bill and Chris Ryan have if there’s a contentious relationship.
I can't imagine Chris Ryan having a contentious relationship with anyone. He seems to be a pretty cool, go with the flow dude. I've yet to listen to a pod with him in which he didn't jibe with the other people on it, or that he didn't make better by his presence.
 

Shelterdog

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I can't imagine Chris Ryan having a contentious relationship with anyone. He seems to be a pretty cool, go with the flow dude. I've yet to listen to a pod with him in which he didn't jibe with the other people on it, or that he didn't make better by his presence.
That seems correct but he's also a professional whose job is to make entertaining light content. Whether these folks are friends or not their job is to _seem_ like they're each other's friends, and to seem like they're our friends as well-and the pods are created with that in mind, and edited with that in mind, and prepped with that in mind. After listening to hundreds of hours of his pods I think CR probably is that cool/go with the flow in his non-podcast life--no one can that chill 113 minutes into the 2007 movie draft if they're not actually that chill--but he's without a doubt the best at being an easy going funny ringer podcast guy who is quick witted and does some great voices.
 

CantKeepmedown

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I've enjoyed how Jo will correct Bill when he refers to Lucia and Mia as hookers (Jo says to call them sex workers). And then, as Bill is describing Niccolo (the dude with all the coke) Bill says, "can we call him a gigolo?" And Joanna says, "no, he's a sex worker too"

I don't think Bill watches all that closely. Which is fine, lots of people watch shows while scrolling twitter or IG. But if one of your duties is to do a podcast dissecting the episode, at least do your co-host(s) a favor and pay a little bit of attention. Or at least do some research. Like he mentions his wife saying she was sure that Niccolo had been in something else but she couldn't place it. I'm sure Bill thought Joanna would know. But it takes 5 seconds to look up the actors name, IMDB him, and see he has 4 previous acting credits to his name
 

ManicCompression

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It’s almost like they’re actually friends and give each other good-natured shit. This thread’s insistence of rifts between Simmons and [insert person he’s worked with for several years] is really weird. So far he apparently hates Chris Ryan, Wesley Morris, Zach Lowe, Ryen Russillo, Andy Greenwald, and I’m sure a few others I’m missing.
I never said I thought he hated them. I'm capable of knowing it's good natured and that he's friends with Lowe. I'm pointing out how he's not even able to rib someone else without doing the exact same thing moments later.

I know you feel the need to white knight Simmons in these threads, but could you at least admit that it's possible for some of us to enjoy much of the content on his platform and respect the work he's done to produce it while simultaneously finding his personal eccentricities and lack of self-awareness annoying?
 

Auger34

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It’s almost like they’re actually friends and give each other good-natured shit. This thread’s insistence of rifts between Simmons and [insert person he’s worked with for several years] is really weird. So far he apparently hates Chris Ryan, Wesley Morris, Zach Lowe, Ryen Russillo, Andy Greenwald, and I’m sure a few others I’m missing.
It was good natured ribbing but it was also pretty clear he thinks doing MVP ballots this early is ridiculous no? I mean, he’s said that multiple times across his podcasts overt the years.

And who ever said he hated those people? He took a quick potshot at Zach (good natured but still a potshot) and, as ManicCompression pointed out, he ended up doing an All NBA list on the same pod. I mean, that’s pretty hypocritical no?
 

Spelunker

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I generally don't like Simmons on podcasts, but it's also very clear that the people he's podcasting with *do* like him, and like doing it with him. The idea that they're just kissing up to their boss is silly: these people very genuinely like each other.

Like, say, Amanda Dobbins shits on Fennessey constantly: do we somehow think they're not great friends?
 

luckiestman

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I generally don't like Simmons on podcasts, but it's also very clear that the people he's podcasting with *do* like him, and like doing it with him. The idea that they're just kissing up to their boss is silly: these people very genuinely like each other.

Like, say, Amanda Dobbins shits on Fennessey constantly: do we somehow think they're not great friends?

Sal gives Simmons more shit than anyone and loves the guy. Also, what does it day about Sal that Simmons is as dumb as everyone here says yet Billy Boy crushes him on guess the line for years on end?
 

Shelterdog

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Sal gives Simmons more shit than anyone and loves the guy. Also, what does it day about Sal that Simmons is as dumb as everyone here says yet Billy Boy crushes him on guess the line for years on end?
Well obviously it says--as Sal has pointed out-- that Bill cheats on the lines.
 

Shelterdog

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Sometimes I think that but I can play along with them because I don't look at lines, and Sal is surprisingly bad.
I'd never thought of it before but guessing the lines is kind of the keynesian beauty contest isn't it? It's not whether you think the Pats will will win by 3, it's what do you think the other betters are going to think will happen. No theory as to why Sal sucks at it but it could be(1) paying that much attention to that many games is hard (2) Sal is too stuck on what he thinks will happen not what he thinks the betting public will happen. or (3) math is hard
 

luckiestman

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I'd never thought of it before but guessing the lines is kind of the keynesian beauty contest isn't it? It's not whether you think the Pats will will win by 3, it's what do you think the other betters are going to think will happen. No theory as to why Sal sucks at it but it could be(1) paying that much attention to that many games is hard (2) Sal is too stuck on what he thinks will happen not what he thinks the betting public will happen. or (3) math is hard

I think it is 2 (I have thought about Sal's performance before; he still does what he thinks it should be and he can't get away from it).
 

kenneycb

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It was good natured ribbing but it was also pretty clear he thinks doing MVP ballots this early is ridiculous no? I mean, he’s said that multiple times across his podcasts overt the years.

And who ever said he hated those people? He took a quick potshot at Zach (good natured but still a potshot) and, as ManicCompression pointed out, he ended up doing an All NBA list on the same pod. I mean, that’s pretty hypocritical no?
Hated is a catchall term for ease. From the three relevant threads in this forum, he has been accused of being “annoyed” with Wesley and isn’t going to ask Wesley back. He’s “disrespecting” Chris / Andy with the “are you still do the Watch, Chris?”, he’s taking potshots at Zach (potshots has a worse connotation to me than giving shit, YMMV).
 

Shelterdog

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Hated is a catchall term for ease. From the three relevant threads in this forum, he has been accused of being “annoyed” with Wesley and isn’t going to ask Wesley back. He’s “disrespecting” Chris / Andy with the “are you still do the Watch, Chris?”, he’s taking potshots at Zach (potshots has a worse connotation to me than giving shit, YMMV).
Well I mean "hated" and was "annoyed" with are basically synonyms so I see your point.
 

kenneycb

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Has consistent issues with several people he works with that impact their ability to successfully do podcasts together is probably more precise language. Apologies.
 

Auger34

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Hated is a catchall term for ease. From the three relevant threads in this forum, he has been accused of being “annoyed” with Wesley and isn’t going to ask Wesley back. He’s “disrespecting” Chris / Andy with the “are you still do the Watch, Chris?”, he’s taking potshots at Zach (potshots has a worse connotation to me than giving shit, YMMV).
Im not quite sure how you can say that hated is a catchall term for ease and then act like potshot is a serious insult?

Ok, I will use your term and rephrase my original point.
He gave Zach Lowe shit for doing something and then did the exact same thing on his show a little later. Don’t you think that’s hypocritical?
 

kenneycb

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I don’t really care, which is probably why I find a lot of the critiques in here confusing. He’s generally bubble gum pop analysis of stuff and does so in an entertaining way that I’ll listen even if I don’t care about the subject. He’s just really good at podcasting in this specific style IMO and I enjoy hearing him more than I do dissecting his takes. There are other pods that I like to listen to in “less distracted” times so I can take them in and learn something. Simmons is not one of those - and that’s not a bad thing.

I give him benefit of the doubt on most “inner workings” stuff and don’t get atwitter when he says the Pats OL is good because I’m not relying on him for in-depth Pats takes.
 

ManicCompression

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I don’t really care, which is probably why I find a lot of the critiques in here confusing. He’s generally bubble gum pop analysis of stuff and does so in an entertaining way that I’ll listen even if I don’t care about the subject. He’s just really good at podcasting in this specific style IMO and I enjoy hearing him more than I do dissecting his takes. There are other pods that I like to listen to in “less distracted” times so I can take them in and learn something. Simmons is not one of those - and that’s not a bad thing.

I give him benefit of the doubt on most “inner workings” stuff and don’t get atwitter when he says the Pats OL is good because I’m not relying on him for in-depth Pats takes.
I don't see anyone getting "atwitter." Generally the vibe in this forum is that posters are disappointed that someone in such a position is lazy in the way that you just admitted Simmons is lazy. That it takes away from the entertainment for someone who has multiple football podcasts per week to not be very astute at analyzing football. That it's slightly annoying for a person who's very judgmental about how other people do their jobs - particularly in sports media - to hypocritically rely on the same crutches.

The Ringer threads are some of the most active on this forum. Most posters will acknowledge that he has an eye for talent and formats. The very nature of this discussion is that we'll disagree about the level of our frustrations with the things listed above. That shouldn't be confusing. It's great that these things don't impact your listening pleasure - kudos to you, I don't think anyone is telling you to stop, but there's no moral high-ground to be found in not taking someone seriously who wants to be taken seriously. If anything, it's evidence that he's falling short of his own personal goals because you're not going to convince me that he doesn't want his football, basketball, whatever opinions to be taken very seriously by his audience.
 

Bunt4aTriple

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Are teenage boys really that dumb/predictable (answer: YES)? There have been like a dozen anecdotes recounted over the run of 60 Songs that are almost exact replays of my life, including the spin doctors intro of this week’s episode. I’m gonna miss this show.
 

8slim

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Why have recent episodes of 60 Songs not played the song itself after the episode ends? Rob’s been having to suggest people find it and play it. Some kind of Spotify royalties thing?
 

johnmd20

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Why have recent episodes of 60 Songs not played the song itself after the episode ends? Rob’s been having to suggest people find it and play it. Some kind of Spotify royalties thing?
He mentioned it in one of the episodes last month, by saying, "I cannot play the song after the episode for complex reasons not worth getting into, please find the song and listen to it after the episode." So something to do with royalties or something.
 

HoyaSoxa

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I was pleased that 60 Songs now shows up in my podcast app of choice (Pocket Casts), which means I don't need to remember to go to Spotify separately just for that show. The Pearl Jam episode was definitely ripped from my parallel existence, down to reflexively responding "4:30!" when asked what time it is.
 

Spelunker

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I was pleased that 60 Songs now shows up in my podcast app of choice (Pocket Casts), which means I don't need to remember to go to Spotify separately just for that show. The Pearl Jam episode was definitely ripped from my parallel existence, down to reflexively responding "4:30!" when asked what time it is.
Well holy shit. I can finally stop using Spotify!
 

8slim

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He mentioned it in one of the episodes last month, by saying, "I cannot play the song after the episode for complex reasons not worth getting into, please find the song and listen to it after the episode." So something to do with royalties or something.
Ahhh, got it. I recall that comment, just wasn’t sure if there was more details anywhere. Spotify is clearly limiting clips for money reasons. They’ve made him trim the length of clips he can play for a while now. Jerks.
 

Kliq

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I'm listening to the Simmons pod and he has Stephen Ruiz on. Ruiz has this ongoing QB Rankings on The Ringer, and Simmons asks Ruiz why Herbert is rated higher than Burrow. Ruiz gives an explanation that basically just says that Herbert has physical tools that Burrow doesn't have, and he can make throws Burrow can't, and that Burrow is limited in his potential development. It was a weird explanation because Ruiz acts like he is still evaluating them before the NFL draft, as opposed to going by their track record and performance in the NFL. I didn't understand it at all. He then concludes by comparing Burrow to Brady and saying that Tom Brady would never be developed today because NFL coaches wouldn't be impressed enough with his physical skills to allow him to develop and make mistakes.
 

luckiestman

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I'm listening to the Simmons pod and he has Stephen Ruiz on. Ruiz has this ongoing QB Rankings on The Ringer, and Simmons asks Ruiz why Herbert is rated higher than Burrow. Ruiz gives an explanation that basically just says that Herbert has physical tools that Burrow doesn't have, and he can make throws Burrow can't, and that Burrow is limited in his potential development. It was a weird explanation because Ruiz acts like he is still evaluating them before the NFL draft, as opposed to going by their track record and performance in the NFL. I didn't understand it at all. He then concludes by comparing Burrow to Brady and saying that Tom Brady would never be developed today because NFL coaches wouldn't be impressed enough with his physical skills to allow him to develop and make mistakes.
I heard it. I mostly agree with you but to be fair to him you have to evaluate the situation, so you have to imagine the player in a siimilar scenario. Now, I still take Burrow because I don’t think Cincinnati is that much better of a situation. Burrows oline sucked too.
 

HoyaSoxa

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Harvilla on Vanilla Ice is gold, of course. I think the hardest I have laughed out loud listening to a podcast in 2022 was when:

He casually mentioned how deserving PW Botha was of the Gas Face, alongside M.C. Hammer.
 

8slim

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I don’t think I’ve ever said a negative word about 60 Songs, but… the mailbag episode was awful and it was because of Yasi Salek’s presence.. It’s baffling that Rob, who’s podcast is built on being earnest and delightful, is so taken with Yasi. She’s a pretentious windbag
 

rodderick

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I'm listening to the Simmons pod and he has Stephen Ruiz on. Ruiz has this ongoing QB Rankings on The Ringer, and Simmons asks Ruiz why Herbert is rated higher than Burrow. Ruiz gives an explanation that basically just says that Herbert has physical tools that Burrow doesn't have, and he can make throws Burrow can't, and that Burrow is limited in his potential development. It was a weird explanation because Ruiz acts like he is still evaluating them before the NFL draft, as opposed to going by their track record and performance in the NFL. I didn't understand it at all. He then concludes by comparing Burrow to Brady and saying that Tom Brady would never be developed today because NFL coaches wouldn't be impressed enough with his physical skills to allow him to develop and make mistakes.
Just chiming in here to say I greatly dislike Ruiz and his presence in any NFL podcast is an immediate turnoff. Aside from the snarky know-it-all persona, he has a Chris Simms-like inability to evolve his takes, with his Justin Herbert infatuation being a prime example. There's just more to playing quarterback than being able to rip off ridiculous throws. Herbert is awesome and is likely in the worst situation out of all the young AFC superstars, but "can do stuff other people can't" isn't as unassailable an argument as he thinks it is to judge that position. He has good insight and obviously puts the time in to study QB play, but the personality is a big turnoff to me. The "know ball" stuff grew old about 6 months ago too.
 

Wingack

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Also, Andy and Chris announced on The Watch pod, that they have finally watched Chernobyl after it being a long running bit that they would never watch it even though there audience was begging them too.

They have admitted the error of their ways and are calling it a masterpiece. They suggested that they will be doing a full Chernobyl megapod next Thursday.
 

nattysez

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Shelterdog

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Spotify did layoffs recently and seems to have admitted that, at least thus far, podcasting has not been the high-margin revenue generator it was expecting. I wonder to what extent the Ringer will get impacted by Spotify's push for "higher efficiency."

https://newsroom.spotify.com/2023-01-23/an-update-on-january-2023-organizational-changes/
https://www.musicbusinessworldwide.com/over-spending-and-under-pricing-spotifys-commercial-missteps-have-come-back-to-haunt-it/
I'll bet a lot of the ringer network is pretty safe. The formula of "put CR or Bill or Russilo on a pod, get college educated male sports fans 25-50 to listen" is a pretty profitable one. The challenge spotify is chasing is that it's just hard to make the next Serial or Dirty John so you end up spending a fair amount making 8 part true crime podcasts that never catch on.
 

allstonite

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The new Big Picture with Sean and Chris discussing Plane Trash movies is incredible. I like Dobbins and don’t mind Andy most of the time but I wish these 2 did their own podcast multiple times a week and had the others rotating in as guests every so often. Their chemistry is off the charts
 

johnmd20

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I'll bet a lot of the ringer network is pretty safe. The formula of "put CR or Bill or Russilo on a pod, get college educated male sports fans 25-50 to listen" is a pretty profitable one. The challenge spotify is chasing is that it's just hard to make the next Serial or Dirty John so you end up spending a fair amount making 8 part true crime podcasts that never catch on.
Spotify's biggest issue is on the music side, anyway. The more people use your service, the more it costs Spotify because of the royalties. Heavy users cost the company money, in fact. No other streaming service has to deal with that. If you use Netflix all day, every day, it's all the same to Netflix. (outside of server costs, which are far more limited than royalties)

That is why they have gone deep into podcasts, because there is no cost to stream a show once it's made and produced.(a la Netflix's model) But as you say, it's also tough to be the next big thing when 1000000000000 podcasts are recorded every day.
 

kenneycb

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Their issue is (as @Shelterdog mentions) when they've acquired media entities that don't drive the needle to podcasts. Simmons and Rogan are huge drivers to Spotify on a week-in, week-out basis with their huge following, brand, and steady stream of podcasts whereas nobody really cares what Parcast makes unless it's a hit. It's the same strategy that HBO is driving - produce something extremely cheaply, pay a bunch of money for huge hits that drive people to the platform (e.g., GoT style things), and kill everything that won't drive subscriptions / usage (e.g., Batgirl).
 

johnmd20

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The new Big Picture with Sean and Chris discussing Plane Trash movies is incredible. I like Dobbins and don’t mind Andy most of the time but I wish these 2 did their own podcast multiple times a week and had the others rotating in as guests every so often. Their chemistry is off the charts
Ryan and Sean together is a perfect match.

I do not like Dobbins or Greenwald. But I will listen to the Big Picture even with Dobbins. It's a great show and I really like Sean. Dobbins too cool for school act isn't great but it doesn't repel me. I don't listen to the Watch anymore because Greenwald is just a poser and it's too grating. Andy Greenwald has a podcast about television and he proudly and often declares that he doesn't watch much television. It's just too much.
 

allstonite

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Agree with you on both but I can tolerate them a little more. Dobbins’ dismissiveness bothers me a lot of the time. Sorry that you don’t like “cartoons” or IP movies but that’s what a lot of the movie industry is and you’re on a movie podcast. When she’s talking about movies she’s into she can be insightful and funny. Andy’s pretentiousness and dismissiveness to a lot of stuff can also be too much but him and Chris’ chemistry is worth the listen for me.

In summary, is CR the greatest podcaster we have?
 

johnmd20

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I DIDN’T KNOW I WAS HERE WITH SUPERPODCASTER!
The Wayne Jenkins voice never gets old and it's always hilarious. And it seems like even the Ringer podcasters agree because even Simmons is trying to do the voice sometimes.

Hey Bill, leave the voice work to the professionals.
 

JCizzle

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I'll bet a lot of the ringer network is pretty safe. The formula of "put CR or Bill or Russilo on a pod, get college educated male sports fans 25-50 to listen" is a pretty profitable one. The challenge spotify is chasing is that it's just hard to make the next Serial or Dirty John so you end up spending a fair amount making 8 part true crime podcasts that never catch on.
I just wonder if any of their similar sounding NFL nerds are profitable? They have the high end talent that you mentioned, but does the mid to low end tier deliver? Everytime I listen to one of their NFL shows it's basically the same informed but cynical voice from Nora, Ben, Steven, and Kevin, but at least for the NBA side they have a reasonable and funny guy like Verno and Raja to push back on KOC and the other podcasters. If nothing else, it makes for an entertaining product. I don’t get the same vibe from the NFL side.
 
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ManicCompression

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I just wonder if any of their similar sounding NFL nerds are profitable? They have the high end talent that you mentioned, but does the mid to low end tier deliver? Everytime I listen to one of their NFL shows it's basically the same informed but cynical voice from Nora, Ben, Steven, and Kevin, but at least for the NBA side they have a reasonable and funny guy like Verno and Raja to push back on KOC and the other podcasters. I don’t get the same vibe from the nfl side.
The fantasy show is by far the best football podcast on The Ringer. You can skip the eps where they nerd out about waiver wires, but they do a lot of general NFL content that's just really entertaining because of their chemistry. I wish they chucked their standard NFL hosts and had these guys handle those duties.

Craig Horlbeck should be on every show. He's fantastic on all podcasts.
 

JCizzle

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The fantasy show is by far the best football podcast on The Ringer. You can skip the eps where they nerd out about waiver wires, but they do a lot of general NFL content that's just really entertaining because of their chemistry. I wish they chucked their standard NFL hosts and had these guys handle those duties.

Craig Horlbeck should be on every show. He's fantastic on all podcasts.
Fully agree. I listen to that show almost exclusively now despite not being a great fantasy player - they’re great!!
 

The Social Chair

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https://www.bloomberg.com/news/newsletters/2023-01-29/spotify-shifts-podcast-strategy-after-layoffs

Interesting article on Spotify's future. Basically they need to be YouTube for audio, but the history of podcast distribution will make this difficult.

Spotify has been shifting away from this strategy for a little while now. It used to compare itself to Netflix, inspired in part by its former chief financial officer (and current board member) Barry McCarthy, who was also the CFO of Netflix. Spotify was going to use original podcasts to drive subscriptions.

Spotify now realizes that creating new original hit podcasts is almost impossible. It has started to think of itself more like YouTube. The company will still fund original shows, but it’s more interested in being the platform that every podcaster uses than the studio or exclusive rights holder. It now distributes almost 5 million podcasts and says it wants to reach 50 million creators.

But here’s the thing about YouTube: it generated almost 30 billion dollars in advertising sales last year -- and shared about half of that with creators. Spotify generates about $12 billion in sales, most of which goes to the music business. Almost none of that goes to podcasters.

Spotify is working hard to change this dynamic. It wants to build advertising technology that resembles Google’s AdSense or AdWords for audio. Or, at a minimum, a version of the YouTube advertising business. It hopes that one day it will capture billions of dollars in advertising from podcasts, money it won’t share with music rights holders.