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Bill Simmons leaving ESPN


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http://deadspin.com/report-bill-simmons-is-leaving-espn-1703082844

Here is the statement from John Skipper:

“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.”

Simmons’s contract is up this year, and negotiations (both public and private) have hinted the two sides are far apart. Judging from this news, those negotiations are over; if this is coming from Skipper, it’s real and not just public posturing.

Not a surprise really, given how acrimonious the relationship had gotten between Simmons and ESPN. It's a shame though, because outside of Bill, 30 for 30, and his Grantland crew, I'm not sure where the compelling ESPN content is coming from.

Bill will be fine, of course. He'll be absorbed into some sort of Jimmy Kimmel-related network. I hope guys like Zach Lowe, Robert Mays and Bill Barnwell follow him too; they do great work and I think Simmons deserves credit for giving them a platform.

No more Grantland Basketball Hour is a bummer too.

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If we're not already in a post-network universe, we're heading there anyways yes? Simmons' direct landscape as always seemed entrepreneurial in nature as it was. Other than changing a few url links, his actual sports coverage won't be turned on its head.

Take a shot from now until Dec any time he utters any variation of 'deflated' in his writings/podcastings.

We'll need reaction from Josh Freeman, Russell Wilson, & Tim Tebow.

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How he got as far as he did while leaning so heavily on his fandom as a credential and favoring references to Boston over relevancy to a topic never made much sense to me.

Grantland is awesome, though. He has a knack for recruiting talent and his podcast guests are good. Even though I don't especially care for Simmons' own work, I would absolutely read anything he ends up writing about ESPN.

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It sounds like Grantland and 30-for-30 are staying with ESPN. Plus all the people that work there have contracts too.

As far as where he goes, man, who knows? Every single outlet in the business is going to make a play on him. I think Fox would be an interesting fit, but maybe not the right one. No way on NBC/CBS. He's said plenty of times he wants to be where the basketball is, so Turner/Bleacher Report (with his own outlet, of course) is certainly an option.

If I had my bets, I'd say with all his wealthy friends and his own money and sway in the business, he has the capital to go his own way. Set up his own site, basically as Grantland was, and continue to do the entire online thing. Written, audio, video. The template is there and if anyone has the wherewithal to do it, it's Simmons.

The fallout will be interesting. (Also, I'm available for employment, Mr. Simmons B) )

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Bleacher Report was my first thought. They've been pretty aggressive in luring writers over the past couple years.

I am a little surprised that he didn't negotiate ownership of Grantland from the very beginning.

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How he got as far as he did while leaning so heavily on his fandom as a credential and favoring references to Boston over relevancy to a topic never made much sense to me.

Grantland is awesome, though. He has a knack for recruiting talent and his podcast guests are good. Even though I don't especially care for Simmons' own work, I would absolutely read anything he ends up writing about ESPN.

He relies too much on goofy mailbags with idiots writing in to him talking about stupid things and pretending to be cool. There is this one blog that has a bunch of posts that has critiqued Simmons' stuff over the last several years. Hilarious stuff:

http://bottom-of-the-barrel.blogspot.com/

Just scroll down on the right hand side and look for Bill Simmons. There are 188 entries for him so far.

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If I had my bets, I'd say with all his wealthy friends and his own money and sway in the business, he has the capital to go his own way. Set up his own site, basically as Grantland was, and continue to do the entire online thing. Written, audio, video. The template is there and if anyone has the wherewithal to do it, it's Simmons.

Exactly. I think he'll also work for TNT's NBA coverage in some sort of part time capacity. I don't see him ever going back to a TV network on a full time basis.

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How he got as far as he did while leaning so heavily on his fandom as a credential and favoring references to Boston over relevancy to a topic never made much sense to me.

Grantland is awesome, though. He has a knack for recruiting talent and his podcast guests are good. Even though I don't especially care for Simmons' own work, I would absolutely read anything he ends up writing about ESPN.

He relies too much on goofy mailbags with idiots writing in to him talking about stupid things and pretending to be cool. There is this one blog that has a bunch of posts that has critiqued Simmons' stuff over the last several years. Hilarious stuff:

http://bottom-of-the-barrel.blogspot.com/

Just scroll down on the right hand side and look for Bill Simmons. There are 188 entries for him so far.

I used to enjoy Bill Simmons' columns, but somewhere along the way it seemed like he bought into his own hype and, especially in his mailbags and on his podcasts, felt that he was some big shlt. I stopped reading/listening a couple years ago.

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I can't see Simmons working with the TNT coverage, but who knows. They tend to play things pretty loose and Sage Steele won't be there, so maybe it's a better fit. But Shaq, Ernie, Kenny and Charles do have the best studio show dynamic in sports, and I'd hate to see that altered for the worse.

Simmons will be okay, but it'll be sad to see ESPN defile his ideas. 30 for 30 and Grantland are great in ways ESPN couldn't have envisioned on their own.

People bust his chops and I agree that he can smarmy when discussing his teams, but Simmons deserves credit for giving a damn about sports reporting and trying new ideas. ESPN is the worse for losing him.

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How petty, really.

If all that is true, then I agree with another line in that article DG just posted. Simmons and ESPN were done anyways.

Just another case of ESPN just wanting to let everyone know they're still the big dog and no one person is bigger than the Worldwide Leader.

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The worst part of this- Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith are still gonna be around.

I've enjoyed his work for years- weekly NFL picks, the BS Report with Cousin Sal, Mailbags, NOBODY BELIEVES IN US, the Ewing Theory, Levels of Losing.

And yet ESPN would rather keep THOSE guys?

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Looks like a case of the vapors is what ultimately did Simmons in.

Grow up, ESPN. The worst part is we lose a person with genuine perspective to be replaced by one more ex-jock.

TIL Testicular Fortitude was not thought up by Rod Blagojevich.

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Read the Twitter for James Andrew Miller, the author of the ESPN book, "Those Guy Have All The Fun".

Simmons had him on the podcast numerous times. Miller is getting his stuff directly from Simmons. Miller will probably get more this weekend.

Example: "When @BillSimmons was suspended in Sept,no $ deducted from his paycheck but on 12/19 (right b4 Xmas) 2weeks pay was gone. It was over then."

https://mobile.twitter.com/JimMiller

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Bleacher Report was my first thought. They've been pretty aggressive in luring writers over the past couple years.

I am a little surprised that he didn't negotiate ownership of Grantland from the very beginning.

man I hope not. Slideshows are the worst thing ever.

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Read the Twitter for James Andrew Miller, the author of the ESPN book, "Those Guy Have All The Fun".

Simmons had him on the podcast numerous times. Miller is getting his stuff directly from Simmons. Miller will probably get more this weekend.

Example: "When @BillSimmons was suspended in Sept,no $ deducted from his paycheck but on 12/19 (right b4 Xmas) 2weeks pay was gone. It was over then."

https://mobile.twitter.com/JimMiller

Nice find. "Those Guys..." was illuminating. ESPN went from a crazy idea to a billion-dollar high school real quick.

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