American sports columnist, analyst, and author, Bill Simmons is well-liked for his style of writing that combines sports analysis and knowledge along with lots of pop culture references. He writes from the point of view of a super fan because, in his personal life, he’s exactly that. He’s worked for ABC, ESPN, and Jimmy Kimmel Live! The Bill Simmons Media Group launched the popular website The Ringer in 2016.
Exactly how much is Bill Simmons worth? How did a non-executive with a non-sports related life get to be where he is today?
How Bill Simmons got here
Bill Simmons wrote sports articles in college and earned a Master’s Degree from Boston University in print journalism. The 50-year-old Massachusetts native spent eight years after grad school working for the Boston Herald. He also worked as a local high school sports reporter.
Simmons launched the website BostonSportsGuy.com in 1997, keeping himself afloat with work as a bartender and waiter. The site was averaging 45,000 page views each day and had 10,000 readers by 2001.
It was during this time that ESPN invited Simmons to write sports pieces periodically for both their magazine and website. He was still writing for ESPN when he moved to Los Angeles in 2003, taking a job as a writer for Jimmy Kimmel Live!
In 2007, Simmons began The B.S. Report podcast for ESPN in addition to writing for them. Hosted by Simmons himself, the podcast offered interviews with athletes, pop-culture analysts, sports commentators, and his own friends.
Simmons continued to add to his portfolio. He became the executive producer of the ESPN documentary project 30 for 30. He went on to launch the online magazine Grantland.com in the summer of 2011. The B.S. Report podcasts and his Sports Guy columns appeared there. In 2015, ESPN decided not to renew its contract with Simmons and it shut down Grantland.
After Simmons left ESPN, he got a show at HBO in June 2016 called Any Given Wednesday. HBO canceled it by November of the same year.
When Simmons launched The Ringer in 2016, no one anticipated how successful the podcast network would become. With 36 podcasts, including The Bill Simmons Podcast and The Rewatchables, The Ringer has grown a lot since. It features content that’s compelling and enthusiastic in its approach to podcasting.
Spotify acquired The Ringer in February 2020 in a rumored $300 million purchase. There were 90 employees of The Ringer at the time, mostly made up of content writers for the website.
The programming of The Ringer is mostly conversational. This allows for high publishing volume and great ad opportunities. Since the format doesn’t require a lot of resource-heavy elements or offer a lot of limited-run shows, production costs are lower. It helps that it can build on the audience it gained from The Bill Simmons Podcast which has been around for a decade.
Aside from a savvy publishing structure, The Ringer’s podcast success can also be attributed to a strong stable of talented writers who also go on the mic with great success.
What’s Bill Simmons worth?
While the website portion of The Ringer has struggled for an audience, the podcast side of it flourishes according to Forbes. The Bill Simmons Podcast has consistently appeared in the top 25 podcasts at Apple for the last two years. That podcast alone has brought in $7 million a year.
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Bill Simmons is worth $100 million. The man who has created several viral internet memes including the Ewing Theory and Manning Face, made a $3 million yearly salary while he was at ESPN. The Ringer earns $15 million per year.
Simmons is the CEO of The Ringer and does less writing these days. He still hosts The Bill Simmons Podcast which regularly features top athletes, Hollywood stars, media figures, friends and family.