Chris Vernon is taking his talents (at least partially) to Bill Simmons’ The Ringer. Vernon, who’s been on the Memphis radio scene for a decade and had been with 92.9 ESPN Memphis since 2012, parted ways with that station earlier this month with dueling claims about what happened. The many fans who bought “FreeVerno” t-shirts will get their wish, though, as Simmons announced Monday that Vernon will now be hosting regular college football and NBA podcasts for The Ringer:

Vernon also tweeted that he’s staying in Memphis and has more announcements coming:

Here’s more on Vernon’s new deal, from Tom Schad of The Memphis Commercial Appeal:

Vernon said he will continue to live in Memphis and serve as on-air analyst for Fox Sports Tennessee’s coverage of the Grizzlies. He will also “be doing something local,” he said.

“(Expect an) announcement, I suppose, in the coming days,” Vernon said.

…Vernon will host one college football podcast and two NBA podcasts per week from September through December, according to Simmons, and three NBA podcasts per week from January through July. The NBA podcasts will cover a wide range of topics, with contributions from executives, players and media members throughout the league. The college football podcasts will examine the sport from a gambling perspective, Vernon said.

Vernon said he expects to record and post his first podcast for The Ringer by the end of the month.

A staple of the local sports talk radio scene for more than a decade, Vernon said it was important to him to remain in the city.

“That was actually the first question they asked: ‘Where do you want to live?’ And I said Memphis. And they said, ‘OK,'” Vernon said.

As per that breakup with 92.9? Here’s what they said:

Sports talk radio show host Chris Vernon has left WMFS-FM 92.9 following a breakdown in contract negotiations, Entercom vice president and general manager Dan Barron said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.

“We had hoped that Chris Vernon would stay with 92.9 ESPN,” Barron said in the statement. “We made a number of offers for multi-year contracts but he did not accept them and broke off negotiations. Chris is very talented and we wish him the very best.”

And here’s what Vernon tweeted in response:

Vernon certainly is appreciated by many, and bringing him in looks like a smart fit for The Ringer; they’re already attracting a lot of NBA fans who like podcasts (two areas Simmons is often focused on), and Vernon’s well-known amongst many NBA fans for his show, for his willingness to have prominent NBA bloggers on, and for his work on Memphis Grizzlies’ pre- and post-game telecasts. He knows his college football and gambling, too, and should strengthen their lineup on that side; a gambling-focused college football podcast also sees like an excellent fit for The Ringer. We’ll see what else Vernon has lined up, but landing a regular Ringer podcast is certainly a good start, and it shows one advantage that site has over some older forms of media; they can bring in top writers or podcast hosts from across the country without forcing them to relocate. A Ringer gig in addition to local work looks like a pretty good situation for Vernon.

[Bill Simmons on Twitter]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously worked at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.

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