Bill Simmons to leave ESPN

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.

Considering the ESPN Properties he touches, Simmons has a long reach.bill simmons
Considering all Simmons does for Disney its going to be interesting how they replace him.

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?

SimmonsNBA Coverage – Thats going to be fine, he’s not the best commentator, and there are a dozen people that can talk on it. Jalen Rose might have a bigger role.

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 (,, 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 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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  1. He’s a really good writer and great at providing content but he’s a horrible TV analyst/personality. He likes to talk and hear himself talk. However, he won’t be unemployed long.

  2. Simmons is obnoxious but I do like the fact that 30 for 30 and Grantland are expected to continue. Grantland in particular. I spend a lot of time on that site, and I really enjoy their content. Would be a shame of ESPN let’s that go just because of Simmons.

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