Former ESPN MMA reporter Ariel Helwani announced his new employers on Twitter Monday, and it will be something of a hodgepodge of outlets as opposed to ESPN’s one size fits all approach.
Helwani is returning to MMA Fighting and Vox Media as the host of The MMA Hour, the marathon weekly talk show he hosted for years. Additionally, he’s going to be creating non-MMA content for his own YouTube channel while also contributing MMA content to Spotify and BT Sport and launching a Substack.
I am extremely excited to announce my next chapter(s), which will be with:
And more to come.
Allow me to explain: https://t.co/mcIkCFAXyQ
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) June 21, 2021
Helwani posted a video outlining his new roles on Monday.
Helwani confirmed that his Substack would be a paid subscription, but all of his cut of the proceeds would be donated to charity.
At BT, Helwani will conduct longer form interviews and will also contribute to the company’s WWE and boxing coverage. With Spotify, under The Ringer’s banner, Helwani will host an exclusive podcast using Spotify’s Green Room live feature for breaking news, pre-fight, and post-fight coverage.
The Helwani-hosted MMA Hour will be returning on August 16th, and will air on every Monday *and* Wednesday, as opposed to just Mondays.
Helwani’s decision to leave ESPN caught many by surprise, but I feel like it was necessary if Helwani wanted more independence in his work. The choice to spread his work out among several outlets is a somewhat risky one, since people will have to look multiple places for Helwani’s content, but if it creates higher quality work, it’ll pay off in the end.