Bill Simmons to Depart ESPN; Network President Throws Serious Shade at Columnist

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Bill Simmons will soon leave the ESPN family.

The television personality and columnist, who serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the website Grantland, could not agree on terms of a new contract and will break from ESPN this fall.

Network President John Skipper confirmed the news via an interview with The New York Times.

Bill Simmons Podcast Photo

“I’ve decided that I’m not going to renew his contract,” said John Skipper. “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."

Simmons has grown into a multimedia superstar through his ESPN ties.

But he's also clashed with the cable giant on numerous occasions, getting suspended for three weeks last fall after referring to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell as a "liar."

Grantland, the sports and pop culture site run by Simmons yet owned ESPN, will be unaffected by his departure, Skipper said.

Throwing major shade the way of his soon-to-be-former employee, Skipper told The Times:

"It long ago went from being a Bill Simmons site to one that can stand on its own."

Simmons' contract expires in September.

The question now is whether he will join a rival of ESPN's such as Fox; or whether he will branch out on his own with the backing of a private equity company.

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