The Bill Simmons-founded The Ringer has long had a strong Boston influence, with Simmons’ Boston sports fandom leading to plenty of Red Sox, Celtics, Patriots and even sometimes Bruins discussions on his The Bill Simmons Podcast in particular, and with the company also hiring other notable Boston-area sports media figures like Kevin O’Connor. They’re now adding a Boston sports-specific podcast, and bringing in WEEI’s Brian Barrett to host that. Chad Finn of The Boston Globe has more on that move:
Barrett, most often heard on weekends and as the Red Sox pregame and postgame host on WEEI the past few years, has been hired by Simmons to host a new Boston-specific podcast on The Ringer (now owned by Spotify).
Barrett gave his notice at WEEI Friday, and will be diving headlong into his new gig. The intention is to have the podcast launched later this month, before the Patriots begin their season.
“It’s crazy. I’ve known who Bill Simmons is for a long time … I grew up wanting to be in sports media,’’ said Barrett, 34. “And now they’re asking me to come and work for them. It’s unbelievable. I can’t tell you how excited I am about it.”
…“Obviously this is an important podcast for me because it’s all my teams in the city I care about,’’ said Simmons. “I really wanted to find the right person and somebody that put thought into their angles but didn’t do the kind of negative stuff just to stir the pot and get a reaction.’’
The 34-year-old Barrett (seen above in a photo he posted to Twitter in May) started at WEEI in 2019, with his first on-air show being the 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. slot after the Patriots beat the Rams 13-3 in Super Bowl LIII. Since then, he’s gone on to work in a variety of time slots and roles, including the Red Sox pre-game and post-game shows. Now, he’s heading to The Ringer. He and Simmons both talked about this on Twitter as well:
The news is out… I’m so fired up for this opportunity with @BillSimmons and @ringer … We will be ready to go for Patriots season
Let’s Go! https://t.co/wZ7RbZEL60
— Brian Barrett (@itsbrianbarrett) August 6, 2022
There’s certainly some logic to The Ringer launching a Boston-sports specific podcast. Yes, Simmons’ podcast touches on a lot there, but it hits many other topics and has many other notable interviewees. And there’s a strong current of Boston sports fans interested in The Ringer’s offerings thanks to Simmons. Barrett seems like an impressive up-and-coming talent, and we’ll see what he’s able to bring to The Ringer.
[The Boston Globe; photo from Brian Barrett on Twitter]