ESPN confirmed Friday that Grantland Editor-in-Chief Bill Simmons is leaving the company. In a statement, ESPN President John Skipper said Simmons’ departure came after a contract negotiation.
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.
A dispatch from New York Times reporter Richard Sandomir, who broke the story, says Simmons will leave the sports media giant when his contract expires in the fall. Grantland will remain unchanged, according to his story.
Now the intrigue will begin about his next step. Simmons could join another traditional media company, like Fox, or a digital media outlet like Yahoo. Or he could use his high profile to start his own multimedia platform with investment from private equity.