For the past year ESPN’s Ryen Russillo has had one foot in ESPN and another in The Ringer, where he’s hosted the Dual Threat podcast since last August at the same time as hosting The Rusillo Show podcast and The Ryen Russillo Show and SVP & Russillo podcasts under the ESPN Audio umbrella. Now he’s jumping completely into The Ringer.
“Happy to confirm Ryen Rusillo will be working exclusively for The Ringer for all multimedia stuff starting in September,” The Ringer founder/CEO Bill Simmons announced on Twitter. Simmons also said that Rusillo will become a regular cast member on the Bill Simmons Podcast. Russillo had already been making Monday appearances on the show during the NBA season. Of course Simmons is also an ESPN veteran. He joined the sports network in 2001, where he ran the Grantland blog, hosted his own podcast and wrote for ESPN.com. He left the network in 2015 and launched The Ringer Podcast Network the following year.
Since last year Russilo has been hosting the three-times-a-week Dual Threat podcast on The Ringer and, as part of a multiyear deal with The Ringer first reported by Sports Business Daily, that show will continue. He’ll also appear on several other sports-focused podcasts such as The Ringer NBA Show and The Rewatchables.
Russillo, 44, has been at ESPN for the past 14 years. “I grew up on SportsCenter and then to be on the actual set, my name on a show—I have to remind myself at times how cool that is,” he said in his own Twitter announcement about his leap full-time to The Ringer. Rusillo’s contract with ESPN expires August 31.
Rusillo’s exit from ESPN comes at a time when the New York Post reports executives had been considering expanding his podcast duties for them as a way to keep him on their team if needed for a return to an ESPN Radio role. Russillo left ESPN Radio at the end of 2017, opting not to renew his contract following a 2016 suspension from his on-air duties. However he remained with the company to host his podcast and make appearances throughout the network.