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Bill Maher Enters The Podcast Realm Satirical TV Host Seeks “Freedom Of Expression” In Alternative Media


Bill Maher Enters The Podcast Realm: Satirical TV Host Seeks “Freedom Of Expression” In Alternative Media

Bill Maher, the host of HBO’s Real Time, is launching a new podcast network called Club Random Studios. The network aims to host podcasts centered around the idea of “freedom of expression,” Maher tells The Hollywood Reporter.

“I am looking for people who are not talking-point people. I’m looking for people who don’t, before they speak, say, ‘What’s the right answer here?’” Maher states about the vision for the network’s hosts.

The first podcast on Club Random Studios stars Sage Steele, the former ESPN SportsCenter anchor who recently parted ways with the network after settling a free speech lawsuit. She had filed suit alleging retaliation after making controversial comments about COVID-19 vaccine mandates on another podcast.

“She’s 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 says, referencing his own conflicts with Disney when ABC canceled his show Politically Incorrect in 2002.

Steele plans for her show to feature “conversations, not interviews” with guests from various fields like athletics, entertainment, politics, and more. Early guests include UFC President Dana White, comedians Howie Mandel and Adam Carolla, and former baseball player and political candidate Steve Garvey.

“What I’ve always tried to dig out during my career is the ‘why’ behind people and get that human interest story,” Steele explains. “You realize that by sharing your story, others can benefit as well.”

Maher says he and his co-founders Chris Case and Chuck LaBella intend to provide resources to hosts like Steele while allowing them to pursue their own creative visions. “These are not rookies, these are grown-ass adult, mature, fun, unafraid people,” he points out.

Both Maher and Steele emphasized their differing backgrounds and perspectives as a key part of the network’s mission of promoting diverse viewpoints.

“It’s not even about me or Bill, this is about the big picture, and what I believe and Bill believes is missing in this country, which is true conversation and listening,” Steele emphasizes. “Bill, by saying, ‘You’re gonna be my first hire for my new podcast network,’ he is living that, he’s practicing what he preaches.”

Maher launched his own Club Random podcast two years ago as a more casual, long-form interview format compared to Real Time. “I’m high when I do the whole thing. It just seemed like a good idea,” he jests.

Now he looks to provide a platform for other outspoken personalities with Club Random Studios and its ethos of unfettered expression. As Maher put it, “It’s Real Time after dark.”

Cecilia Carloni, Interview Manager at Influence Weekly and writer for NetInfluencer. Coming from beautiful Argentina, Ceci has spent years chatting with big names in the influencer world, making friends and learning insider info along the way. When she’s not deep in interviews or writing, she's enjoying life with her two daughters. Ceci’s stories give a peek behind the curtain of influencer life, sharing the real and interesting tales from her many conversations with movers and shakers in the space.

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