Media superstar Bill Simmons is starting a new site called The Ringer.
While Simmons and his team have talked a bit about the new site, several key details have been kept secret.
Here’s a new one to add to the mix.
We have learned that Simmons will partner with publishing platform Medium on his new project.
Medium has funded and hosted some original publications. For instance Medium runs tech site, Back Channel, which is edited by former Wired reporter Steven Levy
However, Medium pared back some of its investment in original content last summer.
Simmons’ prior site, Grantland, was focused on high-brow longform content, which fits with the sort of content Medium generally hosts.
Simmons will be by far the highest-profile content creator Medium has partnered with to date.
Simmons is a force of nature.
He is developing a show for HBO, has a podcast, and is now working on this new site.
He has developed the Bill Simmons Media Group, which is being led by former NFL Network executive, Eric Weinberger. He has also hired a number of former colleagues from ESPN.
Simmons is an online pioneer. He started his own blog before people knew what blogging was in the late nineties. He moved to ESPN.com shortly afterwards and became the most popular writer on their site. He helped develop the critically acclaimed 30 for 30 documentary series. He developed TV shows for ESPN, and was on their NBA pregame show.
Simmons has 538,000 followers on Facebook, and 4.8 million followers on Twitter. As soon as he announced his new site, it racked up 100,000 Twitter follows overnight.
These rabid fans will likely frequently visit his new site.
Simmons left ESPN over frustrations with management about investment and support for Grantland, as well as disagreements about what he could, or should say about the NFL and its commissioner Roger Goodell.
He’s determined to prove that he can build a big, powerful media brand on his own with out ESPN’s help.
Shortly after he announced the Ringer, someone on Twitter said, “What are the lessons Bill Simmons learned from running Grantland from a business perspective?”
His answer: “Don’t do it with ESPN.”