Howard Beck Credit: Airball DK on YouTube

National NBA reporter Howard Beck will cover the NBA for The Ringer this season, he announced on X on Monday afternoon.

Beck was let go by Sports Illustrated in the spring. He covered the Lakers and Knicks for local sports sections early in his career before working as a national NBA reporter for the New York Times, Bleacher Report and then SI.

At SI, Beck wrote NBA features and co-hosted “The Crossover” NBA podcast with Chris Mannix. He will likely do both for The Ringer, which is owned by Spotify.

Beck has unfortunately been a frequent victim of the digital sports media age. He is a natural writer who churns out thoughtful feature stories about basketball. But that archetype is fading.

Beck was hired by Bleacher Report in 2013 and was one of its signature voices when it launched B/R Mag, the short-lived, long-form journalism vertical, in 2016. B/R Mag was shuttered in the summer of 2020, and Beck left later that year.

At SI, he penned cover stories and leaned more into digital formats, but couldn’t outrace SI’s frequent layoffs, either.

Many writers like Beck have moved to Substack, but here Beck follows his fellow B/R Mag alum Mirin Fader to The Ringer.

Beck makes sense at The Ringer as the outlet continues its investment in longform and NBA writing, but the company has also emphasized podcasts more since being purchased by Spotify nearly four years ago. Its work with longform journalists on narrative podcasts has been hit or miss and largely secondary to talk shows.

The company shuffles its NFL and NBA rosters each fall, as seen in the departure of NFL senior writer Kevin Clark to Omaha Productions and ESPN earlier this month.

So time will tell what exactly Beck does at The Ringer.

[Howard Beck on X]

About Brendon Kleen

Brendon is a Media Commentary staff writer at Awful Announcing. He has also covered basketball and sports business at Front Office Sports, SB Nation, Uproxx and more.