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ESPN Will Not Renew Bill Simmons' Contract

ESPN president John Skipper confirmed the news in a statement early Friday.

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ESPN has released a statement announcing a split with network personality and Grantland editor-in-chief Bill Simmons.

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Here is the statement from ESPN President 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.

Rumors of a potential split have been brewing for nearly a year. Last year, Simmons was suspended for criticizing the network and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell during a podcast.

Skipper told Richard Sandomir of the New York Times that "the differences between the company and Simmons were 'about more than money.'"

The ESPN President also claimed that Simmons' recent suspension "had no bearing on his decision to end ESPN's relationship with Simmons."

Simmons' contract expires in September. Skipper pointed out in his statement that Grantland will live on without its founder.

This post is developing and will be updated. Follow @BuzzFeedSports for updates.

Lindsey Adler is a sports reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Lindsey Adler at lindsey.adler@buzzfeed.com.

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