ESPN has had a large roster of great hosts and colorful personalities over the years with Bill Simmons certainly being one of them. However, the network revealed today that when his contract runs out, he will not be returning to the network.
He has enjoyed some great years with the network and his time on ESPN has been beneficial to both him and the environment where he works. He has come under fire for some controversial statements and was even suspended last year, but who hasn’t received some backlash as a sports personality?
President of the network John Skipper made a statement today that 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.”
Love or hate @BillSimmons, he blazed a new trail for media and had one of the most rapid and interesting rises of anyone in our business
— Brent Axe (@BrentAxeMedia) May 8, 2015
ESPN and Bill Simmons have enjoyed a great relationship together over the years, and as the primary network for sports news, this is big news for sports fans and possible replacements for Simmons.
Simmons is heavily involved with the network, which makes replacing him a difficult task. In connection with ESPN, he runs the sports and entertainment site, Grantland, hosts a weekly podcast called The B.S. Report, and co-created ESPN’s popular 30for30 series.
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) May 8, 2015
He was suspended last September due to his comments regarding NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in relation to the Ray Rice case when he called him a liar, despite most people in the country thinking the same thing. He said it on his popular podcast The B.S. Report and it has since been removed from ESPN’s website and the iTunes store.
ESPN will officially part ways with Bill Simmons in September when his contract expires, but his leaving the network is not related to last year’s suspension. He has been with the network since 2001.