Judging by the Cover: How the Magazine Industry’s Identity Crisis Is Playing Out on Its Front Page

Digitization has profoundly altered the way magazines sell and get produced, yet traditional print covers still have a strong cultural and economic impact. Cover designs now have to strike a delicate balance between satisfying loyal subscribers and attracting new digital readers who engage on social media.

Source: The Ringer
Published: Sep 4, 2018
Length: 20 minutes (5,184 words)

“Cocaine, Speed, and Gallons of Jack Daniel’s”: The Last Rock ‘n’ Roll Superstars Were … Korn?

The hook of Steven Hyden’s feature on Korn’s seminal 1998 album Follow the Leader (of which I owned a copy, even though I listened to maybe just three songs, including ‘Freak on Leash’) is that the quartet, helmed by Jonathan Davis, are the last true rock-and-rollers: Mounds of cocaine, sex in the recording booth, and millions spent honing and perfecting sound quality. But what makes this article utterly fascinating is the examination of nu metal’s stupefying rise, and how the genre subsumed pop music in the late 1990s and early 2000s, a rejoinder to the oleaginous tunes that dominated the top 40 charts.

Source: The Ringer
Published: Aug 15, 2018
Length: 17 minutes (4,335 words)

A Flower in the Debris: The Legacy of Benihana, Rocky Aoki’s All-American Empire

By diluting its Japanese character and turning food into theater, this millionaire chef introduced Japanese cuisine to American diners neither familiar with or open to it. He was both a culinary pioneer and a brilliant opportunist.

Author: Mayukh Sen
Source: The Ringer
Published: Jul 24, 2018
Length: 15 minutes (3,967 words)

For One Last Night, Make It a Blockbuster Night

What’s the major difference between renting a movie at Blockbuster and streaming it on Netflix? As Justin Heckert reports for The Ringer, as the last Blockbuster video stores close, the people of Alaska won’t just miss the blissful comfort and simplicity of family movie night. They’ll miss the human interaction that can be the best part of visiting the video store in person: the colorful people, the jokes, the laughs, and the delightful camaraderie of discovering a shared favorite film at the checkout counter.

Source: The Ringer
Published: Jul 19, 2018
Length: 37 minutes (9,282 words)

“Who Can Explain the Athletic Heart?”

Michael MacCambridge—author of 1997’s The Franchise, a classic in media reporting—deep-dives what to make of Sports Illustrated following Meredith’s acquisition of Time Inc, and how (and even whether) the once-essential magazine can continue to survive in a continuously evolving media landscape

Source: The Ringer
Published: Apr 13, 2018
Length: 23 minutes (5,862 words)

NFL Scoops From Heaven

Whether ESPN reporter Adrian Wojnarowski is dropping #wojbombs, or Adam Schefter is piling NFL scoop after scoop into his Twitter timeline, there are certain reporters who seem to always be the first to know who signed where and for how much money. That is, until Sports Spectrum, a burgeoning Christian website, began to beat the ESPNs and other mainstream outlets at a game they’ve long since perfected. How? By allowing athletes to express their faith and religious beliefs.

Source: The Ringer
Published: Mar 23, 2018
Length: 7 minutes (1,906 words)

Deep Six: Jamele Hill and the Fight for the Future of ESPN

Bryan Curtis profiles Jamele Hill, the ESPN Sportscenter host under fire on Twitter, and from the White House, for calling President Donald Trump a white supremacist.

Source: The Ringer
Published: Sep 13, 2017
Length: 22 minutes (5,600 words)

Phil Ivey’s Semi-Bluff

During poker’s boom in the early-aughts, Phil Ivey was the sport’s first genuine superstar, an intimidating manipulator with an utterly brilliant mind who helped catapult poker (and his own bank account) to dizzying heights. “I like it when I lose so much money I can barely breathe,” he once told a table during the filming of NBC’s Poker After Dark. But then Ivey disappeared, hamstrung by the lingering accusation and subsequent lawsuits that he had cheated casinos out of millions playing baccarat, which begs the question—does poker still need Phil Ivey?

Author: David Hill
Source: The Ringer
Published: Jul 13, 2017
Length: 32 minutes (8,071 words)

The End of Independent Film As We Know It

How a new generation of indie filmmakers is finding its voice through Amazon and Netflix — and why this might be a scary development for the future of cinema.

Source: The Ringer
Published: Apr 10, 2017
Length: 30 minutes (7,529 words)

The (Still) Awesome Life of Dick Vitale

It’s impossible to escape Dick Vitale, the original ESPN personality and longtime mensch of college basketball, but at age 77, and after watching countless friends retire from the broadcast booth, The Ringer’s Bryan Curtis tries to answer the question of what continues to push Vitale?

Source: The Ringer
Published: Apr 3, 2017
Length: 21 minutes (5,261 words)