Bill Maher Launches New Podcast Network, Hires Conservative As His First Host
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 10: EXCLUSIVE ACCESS, SPECIAL RATES APPLY. Bill Maher attends the 2024 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 10, 2024 in Beverly Hills, California.
Kevin Mazur / VF24 / WireImage for Vanity Fair

Comedian Bill Maher is launching his own podcast network and has reportedly hired conservative Sage Steele, a former ESPN anchor, to be his first host.

Maher, who is known for hosting HBO’s “Real Time,” told The Hollywood Reporter that he is building his network on the foundation of “freedom of expression.”

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

Steele parted ways with ESPN last year after settling a lawsuit with the company in which she alleged that the network — whose hosts have routinely engaged in promoting left-wing politics — retaliated against her for remarks that she made about vaccine mandates and that her free speech had been violated.

“Having successfully settled my case with ESPN/Disney, I have decided to leave so I can exercise my first amendment rights more freely,” Steele said in a social media post last year. “I am grateful for so many wonderful experiences over the past 16 years and am excited for my next chapter!”

Maher told THR that Steele was “the perfect choice to be our first new host because, like me, she pissed off Disney.”

“These are not rookies, these are grown-ass adult, mature, fun, unafraid people,” Maher says. “So I don’t worry about them, and I certainly wouldn’t dream of micromanagement. I mean, they are their own people. And that’s what we want.”


The publication said that Steele is focused on having “conversations, not interviews” with notable figures ranging from athletes, executives, actors, comedians, to politicians.

“What I’ve always tried to dig out during my career is the ‘why’ behind people and get that human interest story,” Steele told the publication. “You realize that by sharing your story, others can benefit as well. I’ve gotten thousands of emails over the last couple of years since I kind of became controversial and started getting canceled, from people saying, ‘Oh my gosh, thank you for sharing,’ ‘Oh my gosh, I’m afraid too,’ and ‘Oh my gosh, please don’t be quiet, you’re speaking for me.’ So that’s where this came from. I’ve always had that curiosity, but now I know firsthand what it’s like when you open up and are vulnerable and share.”

“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. I mean, since my controversies began — and long before that, actually — people who know me knew my biggest priority is diversity of thought, and if we don’t have that we have nothing,” she continued. “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 because you look at just the basic issues, right? He thinks marriage is a joke, and kids are annoying. And he’s an atheist. I was married for 20 years. I have three kids and I am a strong Christian Catholic.”

“We could not be more different in many, many, many important ways. But we also think the same on some of the core issues that are dividing this country right now, like the craziness at the border with immigration laws, with what happened with the vaccine mandates — not the vaccine, the vaccine mandates — with the transgender sports issue. We’re on the same page with that, and we were able to find that out through that conversation on his podcast last fall,” she added.

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