Bill Simmons, ESPN to part ways after contract expires in September

Bill Simmons is leaving ESPN.
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Bill Simmons is leaving ESPN, network president John Skipper announced Friday. 

Rich Sandomir of The New York Timesfirst reported the departure. 

Simmons, who joined the outlet in 2001 as a columnist, is one of the most prominent figures in sports media. Skipper said that while the two sides had been negotiating, they were not able to come to an agreement. 

“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," Skipper said. "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' contract expires at the end of September. 

Simmons hosts a popular podcast, The B.S. Report, and is the editor-in-chief of ESPN-sponsored site Grantland. He also helped create ESPN's 30 for 30 documentary series, for which he serves as executive producer. 

Simmons, the author of the book The Book of Basketball, a New York Times bestseller, has also served as an analyst for ESPN's NBA coverage.

In September, Simmons was suspended for critical remarks he made about NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on his podcast.

Grantland publisher David Cho is also leaving ESPN, Peter Kafka of re/code reports. It's currently unclear whether the two departures are connected. 

- Chris Johnson