Life after ESPN: Bill Simmons to shake up the podcasting world this fall

any given wednesday bill simmons hbo cancelled
A few short months after his falling out with ESPN, Bill Simmons announced on his Twitter account that he’ll be returning to the podcast world on Oct. 1, 2015.  The tweet (embedded below) was sent yesterday morning and touts the return of perhaps the most popular sports writer in the country.

His B.S. Report podcast was wildly successful, but the final episode of the series was released on May 8, 2015, the same date that news broke of his departure from ESPN. The show was Simmons at his Simmons-y best, with in-depth segments, revealing interviews, and a pull-no-punches ethos that landed its host in hot water with his employer.

No word yet on where this new podcast will live or who will sponsor it, but those who’ve been starving for The Sports Guy will certainly be excited to hear that the prodigal son is on his way back to the airwaves. If you’re not familiar with how he ended up off of them in the first place, here’s the short version:

On an episode of B.S. Report, Simmons reiterated what others in the ESPN family had said about Roger Goodell’s handling of the Ray Rice domestic abuse case, but did so in characteristically pugnacious style:

“I really hope somebody calls me or emails me and says I’m in trouble for anything I say about Roger Goodell. Because if one person says that to me, I’m going public. You leave me alone. The commissioner’s a liar and I get to talk about that on my podcast. Thank you. … Please, call me and say I’m in trouble. I dare you.”

Dare accepted.

The rant earned him a three-week suspension from ESPN and proved to be the straw that broke the long-beleaguered camel’s back. This past May, network brass announced that the sports giant would not be renewing Simmons’ contract, thus ending a long and fruitful relationship. In the end, the split was probably best for both sides. The Sports Guy never could curtail his rebelliousness and ESPN never could give him the one thing he wanted all along: carte blanche to be Bill Simmons.

HBO, on the other hand — with its ad-free, subscription-based model, has more capacity for controversy and has welcomed Simmons with open arms. His contract with the network begins in October, and his weekly talk show is set to debut sometime in 2016.

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