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Bill Maher To Launch Podcast Network, Sage Steele To Host First Show

Bill Maher is expanding his Club Random podcast into a network, with plans to launch a new show with sports journalist Sage Steele.

Maher, host of HBO’s Real Time, is teaming with his co-creators and executive producer Chris Case and Chuck LaBella in the venture, with plans to feature celebrity talent who want to “try something different and span a wide variety of personalities and interests,” according to an announcement.

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Club Random Studios, as the venture is named, will debut The Sage Steele Show later today. In a statement, Maher said that the former ESPN anchor is “the perfect choice to be our first new host because, like me, she pissed off Disney. There’s a certain poetic symmetry to that.”

Maher said, “My lifelong goal has been to get the kind of conversation we have in life – utterly real, completely authentic, cleaned up for no one – on the air. I went with that as far as I could on television; Andrew Sullivan once said, ‘He gets the conversation we have in the green room on the show.’ But I knew there was still another level to get to, and a nighttime feel, that was missing in podcasts, and that’s why I started Club Random. Now I want to help this impressive slate of other voices to do the same thing on the Club Random network. Dance like no one’s watching? We talk like no one can cancel us.”

Steele’s show will feature new episodes every Wednesday. Among the guests planned are Dana White, Howie Mandel, Sharon Osbourne, Jillian Michaels, Drea DeMatteo, Adam Carolla, Reggie Watts and Steve Garvey.

Steele said, “So, to have a platform that encourages candid, vulnerable conversations with people whose refusal to be silenced empowers others is truly a dream come true.”

That’s a common refrain among prominent personalities who get pushback for their controversial comments. Last year, Steele settled a lawsuit with ESPN-parent Disney. She alleged that she had been “sidelined” by the network in 2021 after she made controversial remarks about ESPN’s Covid policy and former President Barack Obama‘s ethnic identity, questioning the fact that Obama identifies as Black, given the circumstances of his upbringing. She had earlier apologized for her comments, while ESPN maintained that she was not suspended.

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