Former ESPN columnist, TV personality, and Grantland editor Bill Simmons has found a new home. He will be joining HBO in October on a multi-year contract, the network announced on Wednesday.
ESPN announced in May that it was declining to renew his contract after nearly 15 years at the company that helped him found Grantland and featured him as a marquee columnist.
“It’s no secret that HBO is the single best place for creative people in the entire media landscape,” Simmons said in a statement reported by the New York Times. “[I]t was hard to imagine being anywhere else.”
While the contract begins in October, Simmons will star in a weekly series starting in 2016 that, according to The Wrap, will “feature stories and guests from across the sports and cultural landscapes.” He will also be working on other projects, including a video podcast and development and consultation work on HBO Sports programming and documentaries. Simmons was an executive producer and one of the creators on the excellent ESPN documentary series “30 for 30.”
“We have been fans of Bill Simmons and his work for a very long time,” said President of HBO Programming Michael Lombardo in a statement announcing the move. “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.”
Over the years, Simmons has merged his sports work with obsessive pop culture analysis, including coverage of many top HBO shows. His way to announce the move to his Twitter followers was to send out this link to a classic 1983 HBO trailer.
The deal makes HBO the exclusive television home for Simmons, but it has not yet been reported whether or not he’ll be able to continue to do print coverage for other companies, or for which such publications he might write.