By Justin Terranova, New York Post May 8 2015
Bill Simmons is leaving ESPN.
The extremely popular columnist and the biggest sports outlet in the country could not come to terms on a new contract with his current deal set to expire later this year.
“I decided today that we are not going to renew Bill Simmons’ contract,” ESPN president John Skipper said in a statement, after the news was first reported by the New York Times.
“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.”
Simmons sky-rocketed to popularity writing columns from a fan’s perspective and has perhaps become the most followed sportswriter in the country. Simmons built ESPN’s sports and pop culture vertical “Grantland,” is part of the brain trust behind the network’s influential “30 for 30″ documentary series and also has worked as an NBA television analyst for the network.
“It long ago went from being a Bill Simmons site to one that can stand on its own,” Skipper told The Times about Grantland.
He has had his share of controversy, as well.
Simmons was suspended for three weeks last year when he repeatedly called NFL commissioner Roger Goodell a liar for claiming he had not seen the Ray Rice elevator video and then challenged ESPN bosses to banish him.
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