Grantland founder, sports columnist and podcast star Bill Simmons has landed at HBO, sealing a major multiyear contract with the premium cable channel Wednesday, months after ESPN let his contract expire.
“It’s no secret that HBO is the single best place for creative people in the entire media landscape,” Simmons said in an HBO news release, adding that "it was hard to imagine being anywhere else.”
Simmons' exclusive deal with HBO will start in October. It is already slated to include a talk show focusing on sports and culture, set to premiere in 2016.
The contract also will allow Simmons to produce other content, such as podcasts and documentaries, for HBO, as well as for other platforms like HBO GO. The statement didn't mention Simmons' involvement in any other Turner properties owned by Time Warner.
“We have been fans of Bill Simmons and his work for a very long time,” Michael Lombardo, HBO's president of programming, said in the release. “His intelligence, talent and insights are without precedent in the areas he covers. We could not be more thrilled for him to bring those talents to HBO and to become a signature voice at the network, spanning the sports and pop-culture landscapes.”
Simmons' 14-year reign at ESPN ended in May, after President John Skipper announced the channel wouldn't be renewing Simmons' contract. Grantland, the sprawling sports and culture site Simmons started in 2011, continued to run under ESPN's roof.