News is breaking this morning that the former Boston Sports Guy, Bill Simmons is leaving ESPN and Grantland.
ESPN President John Skipper Statement on Bill Simmons:
“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.”
This is something that has been rumored about for some time now, but most people seemed to feel that Simmons wouldn’t leave the platform that he has at ESPN. The wording used by Skipper in that statement is rather strong, making it seem like it is ESPN deciding they’re going to part ways simply by not renewing his contract, when in reality both sides have been sparring publicly for a while.
Simmons’ creation, Grantland will apparently remain ESPN property, meaning Simmons could either join another media company, or even begin his own.
It will be absolutely fascinating to see what he does next.
Bill Simmons and ESPN Are Parting Ways – Richard Sandomir of the New York Times was the first to break the news.
Wells Report news didn’t change many minds – Chad Finn’s media column has a look at media reaction to the Wells Report, noting that the contents didn’t do much to change people’s minds one way or the other. If you felt one way before, you likely feel the same now.