Network President John Skipper: 'It Was Time To Move On'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Bill Simmons and ESPN are parting ways after a rocky marriage that lasted over a decade.

Richard Sandomir of the New York Times was first to report Simmons’ departure.

“We weren’t going to get to the terms,” ESPN president John Skipper told Sandomir.

The superstar personality behind ESPN’s Grantland website has had his share of dust-ups with the network. Simmons was suspended for three weeks in 2014 after calling NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell a “liar” on his podcast in the wake of the Ray Rice domestic violence scandal.

“I decided today that we are not going to renew Bill Simmons’ contract,” Skipper said in a statement Friday. “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, an unapologetic Boston sports fan, first had his work published by ESPN in 2001. The 45-year-old gained widespread fame with his columns and mailbags on ESPN’s now-defunct Page 2.

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