The most influential voice in sports journalism in the recent past lost his mojo with his shift to a new channel as Bill Simon’s show “Any Given Wednesday” ended after HBO found it highly futile to carry on the show any further after dismal ratings stayed put throughout the tenure of the show.
Bill Simon’s success as a voice to reckon with in the sports arena came after his successful stint with ESPN that saw him generate hugely popular podcasts, columns, and the website “Grantland.” Another crowning achievement was his documentary series “30 for 30” after which things began to look downhill as he turned to HBO.
It was a huge moment for Simon who had seen his fortunes sail high during his 15-year association with ESPN where he was reportedly earning around $5 million a year in the process of becoming the most influential voice in sports.
The legacy went downhill since he had to face suspension from ESPN after he passed on some crude remarks about Roger Godell, the NFL commissioner, calling him a “liar” in one of his podcasts at a time when the Ray Rice Domestic Scandal was under hot debate.
His relation with ESPN remained strained from then onwards as the channel ended his tenure with him four months before his contract was to expire, after which he joined HBO.
Simon was not cut out for television was a fact that was apparent even when he was with ESPN but there his other stable ventures like podcasts and exhaustive articles were balancing the act, a strategy which could not continue at HBO. The failure of The Ringer, a similar website to Grantland, launched by Simon could not achieve the success that the latter had managed.
Grantland’s amount of visitors could not be matched by The Ringer just like his show which managed just 200,000 viewers even for a prime time show, which is abject and dismal for such a known voice in sports journalism.
How Simon reacts this time is yet to be seen, but his response is expected to be silent just like he did after the unexpected announcement of his ouster from ESPN came out.