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Bill Simmons Leaving Espn After September, Grantland Will Remain Under Espn Control


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Bill Simmons and ESPN Are Parting Ways

By RICHARD SANDOMIRMAY 8, 2015

Bill Simmons, who built a personal empire at ESPN and is one of America’s most influential sports personalities, will leave the media giant when his contract expires in the fall. He and the company were unable to reach an extension after months of talks.

“I’ve decided that I’m not going to renew his contract,” said John Skipper, the president of ESPN. “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.”

Skipper said that the differences between the company and Simmons were “about more than money,” although he would not offer details. He added: “We’ve had an excellent run with Bill, almost 15 years. It’s been good for us and good for him. It was a decision I had to make and he had to make to move forward.”

Grantland, the sports and entertainment site run by Simmons for ESPN, will be unaffected by his departure, Skipper said.

“It long ago went from being a Bill Simmons site to one that can stand on its own,” Skipper said.

Simmons’s contract expires at the end of September.

The outspoken Simmons built himself into a major brand at ESPN, branching out from his base as a freewheeling columnist to host a popular weekly podcast, the B.S. Report; to create Grantland; and to play a role in the launch and success of the “30 for 30” documentary film series.

But his future at ESPN became a cause célèbre last year when the company suspended him for three weeks for calling N.F.L. Commissioner Roger Goodell a “liar” during a podcast and effectively dared his bosses to fire him. Simmons became a free-speech martyr during his absence, with the likes of Lena Dunham and Judd Apatow supporting him. Those who spoke out on his behalf on Twitter used the hashtag #FreeSimmons.”

Skipper said that the incident had no bearing on his decision to end ESPN’s relationship with Simmons.

Now the intrigue will begin about his next step. Simmons could join another traditional media company, like Fox, or a digital media outlet like Yahoo. Or he could use his high profile to start his own multimedia platform with investment from private equity.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/09/sports/bill-simmons-and-espn-are-parting-ways.html?_r=0

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Been talking about it with friends all morning.

I used to love Simmons but he gets on my nerves now more than anything. Been that way for the past 3-4 years. He'd have his issues with ESPN where I thought he had a point but at times he came off as very entitled and I wondered how this was going to play out. ESPN keeping control of Grantland is HUGE!

Ultimately, I wouldn't be surprised to see him back at ESPN in 2-5 years. I criticize them a lot but it'll be hard for him to find a platform that's even close to what they do and that would give him that kind of exposure. Unlike the Dan Patrick's and Rich Eisen's of the world he's not a host and I kind of think he's lost the fastball with his wittiness and writing ability.

We shall see. Fox Sports could use a shot in the arm or maybe he goes somewhere and just does pop culture stuff.

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I'll save you the trouble, here's every Simmons column from the past 5 years:

"I ******* love the Celtics, Patriots, Red Sox, and I would give Tom Brady a hummer" by Bill Simmons.

I run Grantland, it's the best job ever! We sit around at our AWESOME office here in LA and have debates on why Coldplay is so annoying. HAHAHAHAHAHA AWESOME RIGHT? Don't you wish you worked here?

The Celtics ******* rule. Did I mention I'm from Boston?

Belichek is wasting Brady's prime. But I'd totally blow either of them.

Even though the red sox have won a **** ton of titles lately, I'm still going to ***** about them not winning even more.

I USED TO WORK FOR JIMMY KIMMEL.

I live in LA, but I hate the Lakers. HAHAHAHAHAHA FUNNY RIGHT?

Boston."

Beadle allegedly got drunk and high at a party after an awards show and tried to **** Aaron Rodgers. He wasn't interested, so she ****** Clay Matthews instead.

She denied both rumors, but her bosses called her in to address the rumors.

I wonder how many times Clay Matthews had to say Beadle Juice before she came.

The first post sums up my feelings on Simmons. The second and third post have nothing to do with this topic, but the third post is the funniest thing shot has posted since he promised to have that ***** on lockdown by saturday.

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Yeah if he was fired I could see him settling for Fox Sports or MSNBC but he's leaving them so one would assume he's got something better in mind. I'm picturing just another Grantland but I've no idea what he wants to do somewhere else that he couldn't have a Grantland. It's doesn't seem like Disney/ESPN was holding them back much. Heck I read an article about a month ago that was essentially an essay on the porn industry. I'm guessing he just wants a larger share of the $$$

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Fox sports 1 is garbage. He'll get paid big bucks by a legit sports media outlet.

Yeah if he was fired I could see him settling for Fox Sports or MSNBC but he's leaving them so one would assume he's got something better in mind. I'm picturing just another Grantland but I've no idea what he wants to do somewhere else that he couldn't have a Grantland. It's doesn't seem like Disney/ESPN was holding them back much. Heck I read an article about a month ago that was essentially an essay on the porn industry. I'm guessing he just wants a larger share of the $$$

From what the rumor mill is reporting, it's not so much he was ready to leave as ESPN wasn't trying to pay him $6 million a year. Seeing as they keep the rights to Grantland (and I'm guessing 30 for 30 as well) I could see their position. Dictating lineup changes on the NBA pregame show (allegedly), the Dr. V fiasco, saying things that he knew would lead to trouble and DARING the network to suspend him. I think he felt real entitled after everything he'd done there and they'd had enough.

I say Fox Sports b/c while they're fledgling right now what other legitimate competition is out there? NBC Sports is even worse if you ask me and to be banished to a network like NBA TV just seems like a waste. Maybe he just steps away from sports for a while.

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ESPN announcing that they will not be renewing his contact a full four months before it expires. That smells more like a firing than a mutual parting of ways.

Plus that screws over Simmons because he can't use ESPN as leverage when working out a deal with someone else.

I'm just hoping he burns some bridges. He has to know some juicy dirt about ESPN.

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ESPN announcing that they will not be renewing his contact a full four months before it expires. That smells more like a firing than a mutual parting of ways.

Plus that screws over Simmons because he can't use ESPN as leverage when working out a deal with someone else.

I'm just hoping he burns some bridges. He has to know some juicy dirt about ESPN.

It's as much of a firing as is possible, given they aren't actually firing him. It sounds like he's already burned significant bridges there.

Deadspin had a great line at the end of their article on this today, it was something along the lines of "It's ironic the Boston Sports Guy goes down like this given it's exactly the sort of move his beloved Patriots would pull."

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It's as much of a firing as is possible, given they aren't actually firing him. It sounds like he's already burned significant bridges there.

Deadspin had a great line at the end of their article on this today, it was something along the lines of "It's ironic the Boston Sports Guy goes down like this given it's exactly the sort of move his beloved Patriots would pull."

Truth is the writing has been on the wall for a minute. They kept having these p*ssing contests and I kept thinking I know they must be tired of his sh*t and wondering if it's even worth it. Personally, I just think he got the big head. Not a surprise at all to me.

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Truth is the writing has been on the wall for a minute. They kept having these p*ssing contests and I kept thinking I know they must be tired of his sh*t and wondering if it's even worth it. Personally, I just think he got the big head. Not a surprise at all to me.

It would have cost them a ton to get lawyers involved and nullify his contract, and he was careful enough to never give them legitimate grounds to get out of his contract.

He definitely got too big of a head, but he had some legitimate gripes as well.

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It would have cost them a ton to get lawyers involved and nullify his contract, and he was careful enough to never give them legitimate grounds to get out of his contract.

He definitely got too big of a head, but he had some legitimate gripes as well.

Absolutely he did. I've been one of the biggest critics of ESPN over the years. Like you though, my feelings on Simmons have changed in recent years and not for the good. I'm just interested to see where he'll land and what he'll be doing.

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