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Ryen Russillo Leaving ESPN For The Ringer

“This is not an anti-ESPN move. It’s a pro-Ringer one. I have wanted to pursue other things for a while, and Bill gave me this opportunity.”

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Since putting ESPN Radio in his rear view mirror to explore other career options nearly two years ago, Ryen Russillo has stayed in the public spotlight through a variety of platforms.  He’s continued his ESPN podcast, made guest appearances on a variety of studio shows, and has established a large profile with The Ringer producing a football podcast and contributing to a variety of other pods.  This week, Ringer founder Bill Simmons announced he’s no longer sharing Russillo with the Worldwide Leader.

Simmons made the announcement on Monday via Twitter.

From the outside, Russillo straddling ESPN and Ringer responsibilities appeared to be working.  Working part time for both outlets simultaneously was certainly unprecedented, but seemed like a successful experiment.  In fact, it even led to ESPN’s Mina Kimes working for The Ringer‘s Big Little Live, a comprehensive weekly Twitter post game show breaking down each episode of HBO’s Big Little Live.

The “exclusive” announcement comes just a few weeks after Russillo and longtime radio partner Scott Van Pelt announced their intention to produce a monthly podcast together under the ESPN umbrella.  It also means the 44-year-old is officially leaving ESPN after 14 years with the company.
Regarding the decision, Russillo told John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal “This is not an anti-ESPN move.  It’s a pro-Ringer one.  I have wanted to pursue other things for a while, and Bill gave me this opportunity.”

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Dave Portnoy Banned, Reinstated By Twitter Within 1 Hour

Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy was suspended from Twitter on Friday, before being reinstated later that night.

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Twitter has put itself in an unenviable position in the last year by falling into the middle of an “everybody has a voice” platform and a private business who operates within certain legal and financial parameters. It has caught heat for some of the individuals and groups it has suspended, and others it has not.

The social media company made a powerful sports media enemy on Friday when it briefly suspended Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy, who already has a complicated relationship with the company.

While it is uncertain which post in particular got the braggadocios Portnoy in hot water with Jack Dorsey and crew, the hashtag #FreeDavePortnoy was trending by 8:30 p.m. per The New York Post. This was led by an army of “Stoolies” — what Barstool calls its staunchest fans — demanding reinstatement for the Stoolie-in-Chief, Portnoy. The suspension did not last long, as less than an hour after the hashtag trended, Portnoy took to Twitter to announce his return.

Portnoy has not tweeted much else in regards to the suspension as of Sunday afternoon, as his focus has turned to betting the College World Series, which began on Saturday.

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Sports Media Supports Fantasy Football Waffle House Bet Loser

“Sports media pros from different companies and different platforms weighed in to marvel at the challenge and Sanderlin’s endurance.”

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Lee Sanderlin/Twitter

There’s been a long-standing theory that everyday there is a main character on Twitter. On Thursday, that main character was a man named Lee Sanderlin. 

Sanderlin is a reporter covering politics for the Clarion Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi. All Twitter cares about though is that he is very bad at fantasy football. His punishment was to spend 24 hours in a Waffle House. 

For every waffle that Sanderlin consumed, his sentence was was cut by an hour. That sounds easy to those that haven’t spent time in the South. Waffle House waffles are each the size of a dinner plate. It would be hard to believe he would be able to cut a significant number of hours off his sentence. 

Waffle House employees didn’t have faith in Lee Sanderlin. 

The internet was very different. Sports media pros from different companies and different platforms weighed in to marvel at the challenge and Sanderlin’s endurance.

Lee Sanderlin noted that he stacked up episodes of his favorite college football podcast, Shutdown Fullcast, in order to kill some time. 

Hosts Spencer Hall and Ryan Nanni reached out to show their support. 

Sanderlin likely had a night he will never forget. He certainly gained some fans and followers. It sounds like he had some good conversations too. 

After 15 hours, 9 waffles, a few visits from friends, too many bad TouchTunes selections, a little vomit and a lot of stomach pain, Lee Sanderlin completed his mission and was free to leave Waffle House. The radio voice of fantasy football players everywhere immediately celebrated.

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No Deal For The Athletic, New York Times

Prior to talks of merging with the New York Times, The Athletic also was exploring a merger with Axios but that deal also fell through a little over a month ago.

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The New York Times and The Athletic will no longer be merging as Sahil Patel of “The Information” reported that the two parties have ended discussions regarding the paper’s take over of the sports megasite.

According to the report, there were a few different reasons the deal fell apart. Patel notes that the two parties couldn’t agree on a price and discussions revolved around how employees of The Athletic would be compensated for the equity they hold in the company.

Prior to talks of merging with the New York Times, The Athletic also was exploring a merger with Axios but that deal also fell through a little over a month ago.

BSM recently reported, “The Athletic has over a million paid subscribers signed up for their $7.99 a month content offerings, but their financials are a bit of a mystery. Although a source disclosed to The Wall Street Journal that The Athletic generated $80 million in revenue last year. According to PitchBook, the company’s valuation stood at $475 million during its most recent funding round in January 2020.”

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