When ESPN announced that Bill Simmons would be leaving the network, speculation on his future job prospects were rampant. Some guessed he would join Fox Sports. Some floated Turner Sports as a possible destination. One report even suggested that he and departing “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart would go into business together.
According to a new report from The New York Times, none of those reports proved to be accurate. Instead, the prolific columnist turned website co-founder turned documentarian will be headed to HBO, where he will host a talk show. Here’s the Times’ John Koblin:
HBO announced Wednesday that it would be the exclusive television home for Mr. Simmons and that he would get a talk show that will debut in 2016. His contract with HBO starts in October. Additionally, Mr. Simmons will have a production deal with HBO and will do video podcasts, similar to what he did at ESPN. At the sports network, he helped create ESPN’s “30 for 30” series of sports documentaries.
Simmons’ contract with HBO starts in October, and he won’t be doing much for ESPN in the interim. At least two other high-profile ESPN personalities, including Colin Cowherd and Keith Olbermann, will be following him out the door.
On Tuesday, the Times Richard Sandomir noted that ESPN was facing an exodus of talent as president John Skipper elected to end his business relationship with some of the network’s standout personalities.
Simmons marked the news with a tweet containing an old-school HBO intro:
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) July 22, 2015