Bill Simmons to leave ESPN
ESPN President John Skipper released the following statement today:
“I decided today that we are not going to renew Bill Simmons’ contract. We have been in negotiations and it was clear it was time to move on. ESPN’s relationship with Bill has been mutually beneficial – he has produced great content for us for many years and ESPN has provided him many new opportunities to spread his wings. We wish Bill continued success as he plans his next chapter. ESPN remains committed to Grantland and we have a strong team in place.”
ESPN has also stated that it was more about money, and I have to think that was the breaking point. I’m sure that Simmons wanted carte blanche to say whatever he wanted, and ESPN – with Disney – said no.
Simmon’s contract runs through September.
Bill Don’t Lie – This one’s dead. I have to think there is a HUGE non-complete clause. Zach Lowe already has a podcast.
BS Report – This one is probably going to comeback under another name when his contract runs out.
ESPN – They can say all they want, but this is going to hurt them. SI has tried to do something similar with MMQB, its a little hard to replicate.
Grantland – This one might be a lot different. Think he’s replaceable? How is ESPNW turing out? How about Jason Whitlock’s new site?
I can see why Simmons might be fine with moving on, and whomever has his website domain of choice I bet is going to be a rich man (BillSimmons.com, Sportguy.com, FreeSimmons.com etc) when he comes calling. I can see why Simmons went from Page 2 to Grantland. I did the same thing when I went from InformativeSports to 7poundbag.com. Simmons has always mixed things into his sports, now he can do so at will. Not like he writes three columns a week anymore.
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