Ringer Woes

    • Influx of ‘big name’ contractor talent reportedly upsetting staffers.
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Former and current employees of sports and pop culture outlet The Ringer are speaking out against management’s alleged anti-union practices. 

The allegations come three weeks after popular staffers Jason Concepcion and Haley O’Shaughnessy announced they were leaving the company, which multiple employees told the New York Times was because of pay disputes. 

Before the company was sold to Spotify for about $200 million in February, it recognized The Ringer Union with the Writers Guild of America last year. Negotiations toward a collective bargaining agreement have since stalled.

Big Timing: A recent influx of big-name talent — like former MLB pitcher CC Sabathia and “The Bachelorette” star Rachel Lindsay — have been brought on as contractors. Employees said this practice closes off internal opportunities and weakens the union. Bill Simmons, who founded The Ringer, has reportedly unfollowed and stopped sharing the work of employees who showed support for the union on Twitter. 

Unions are on the rise in sports media:

  • More than 90% of Sports Illustrated’s staffers elected to join the union backed by the NewsGuild of New York in January.
  • Deadspin staffers are also covered under the WGAE, which announced a three-year agreement with G/O Media in March 2019.
  • Vox Media agreed to a union contract, which includes SB Nation staffers, in July 2019.