Bill Simmons Is Leaving ESPN
May 8, 2015 at 8:01 AM (PT)
BILL SIMMONS is leaving ESPN after negotiations over the sports commentator's new contract came to an impasse.
SIMMONS, the former "BOSTON SPORTS GUY" who established the GRANTLAND sports and pop culture website and podcast network, and hosted "THE B.S. REPORT" podcast for the network as well as serving as NBA commentator for ESPN television and executive producer of the "30 FOR 30" sports documentary series, had been at odds over various issues over the years.
A statement from ESPN Pres. JOHN SKIPPER issued through ESPN's FRONT ROW site said, “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.”
THE NEW YORK TIMES' RICHARD SANDOMIR, who broke the story on Twitter, reports that SIMMONS will leave at the expiration of his contract in SEPTEMBER; SKIPPER told him, “I’ve decided that I’m not going to renew his contract. We’ve been talking to BILL and his agent and it was clear we weren’t going to get to the terms so we were better off focusing on transition," adding that the dispute was “about more than money.”