ESPN today announced it is breaking off negotiations on a new contract with Bill Simmons, and that Simmons will leave the company when his contract expires in the fall.
Simmons is the founding editor of Grantland, an ESPN property. ESPN President John Skipper said Grantland will continue and can stand on its own without Simmons.
“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,” Skipper said today in a statement reported by the New York Times.
Simmons hosted ESPN podcasts The B.S. Report and Bill Don't Lie, and did studio hosting for ESPN and ABC's NBA coverage. He was also a key figure in the founding of the 30 for 30 film series.
Now the guessing game begins as to who will become the next editor of Grantland. Will Leitch of Sports On Earth, formerly the editor of Deadspin, would be one smart choice.