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"SPORTS GUY" SIMMONS TO HBO; GRANTLAND STAYS WITH ESPN

Bill Simmons, the “sports guy,” 30 for 30 sports-doc creator and Grantland founder, has inked a multi-platform deal with HBO to host a new weekly series to debut next year following his acrimonious exit from ESPN.

“It’s no secret that HBO is the single best place for creative people in the entire media landscape,” Simmons offered in a statement. It’s unclear whether he was gloating at the time..

“We have been fans of Bill Simmons and his work for a very long time,” said HBO programming chief Michael Lombardo. “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.”

The show will feature stories and guests from “across the sports and cultural landscapes,” much like Grantland, which has brought in top-shelf journalists to cover the popular arts, including music. The current piece on the site, penned by Winston Cook-Wilson, is headlined “Why ‘DS2’ Is the Culmination of Future’s Musical Redemption,” and Steven Hyden’s "Songs of the Week" series is essential reading.

ESPN will continue to oversee Grantland, though it isn’t clear what changes will be made to the site following Simmons’ departure.

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