ESPN.com's "The Sports Guy" Bill Simmons Joins E:60 as Special Contributor
ESPN.com's Bill Simmons, one of the country's most-read sports writers and a pioneer of sportswriting on the Internet, will join ESPN's new multi-themed, prime-time newsmagazine E:60, set to debut Tuesday, Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. ET, as a special contributor, it was announced today by Keith Clinkscales, senior vice president for content development and enterprises. Simmons, popularly known as "The Sports Guy," will bring his unique voice, insight, and unfettered sports commentary to E:60, joining the previously announced team of award-winning ESPN journalists � Jeremy Schaap, Lisa Salters, Tom Farrey, Rachel Nichols and Michael Smith � who serve as the show's correspondents. Additional guest reporters and commentators will appear periodically.
"Bill Simmons is the most original sportswriter of his generation with a truly unique voice that resonates with sports fans everywhere," said Clinkscales, who also oversees ESPN The Magazine where Simmons is a columnist. "Simmons' E:60 segments will clearly bring his perspective to the television newsmagazine genre, complementing the show's content with his witty and insightful observations about the intersecting worlds of sports and pop culture."
Simmons, lead columnist for ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine, was recently named the 12th-most influential person in online sports by the Sports Business Journal � the highest position on the list for a non-executive. His entertaining columns have become the voice of a generation of sports fans and his readership has steadily grown since he started at ESPN.com in 2001, quickly becoming the most popular columnist on the site. He is also a New York Times best-selling author (Now I Can Die in Peace). His online home, "Sports Guy's World," is a part of ESPN.com's award-winning Page 2.
Highlights of E:60 on ESPN
� ESPN's first multi-themed prime-time newsmagazine
� Following its debut October 16, three additional one-hour episodes will be aired on consecutive Tuesdays. The series will return for five weeks in April 2008 and six weeks in June 2008 (15 one-hour original episodes a year).
� Each episode will feature a combination of investigative reports, profiles of intriguing sports personalities, compelling features on the best stories in sports, and cutting-edge stories on innovations in the sports world, including emerging sports and new technology.
� E:60 will differentiate itself by offering a unique, behind-the-scenes portrait of its reporters by taking the viewer into the world of the reporters as they work on their stories.
� Each segment will meld the stories with a glimpse of the reporters' experiences � pitching the original idea, creating storylines with producers and interviewing their subjects. Reporters will interact with fans by "blogging" their experiences in the field.
� E:60 will be first television magazine show to be produced and televised in HD.
� The program will complement ESPN's award-winning Outside the Lines franchise � enhancing the network's overall commitment to long-form journalism.
� E:60 will be distributed across various ESPN media platforms � ESPN.com, ESPN The Magazine, ESPN International, Mobile Publishing, Mobile TV and podcasts.
Behind the Camera
Clinkscales oversees ESPN Content Development unit which is responsible for E:60. The prime-time series will be produced by a team of seasoned and award-winning television documentary producers. The production team is led by Robert Wallace, an Emmy Award-winning producer, formerly with ABC News and a 30-year veteran of print and television journalism. Longtime ESPN feature producer Andy Tennant, who has earned several Emmy and Edward R. Murrow Awards, will serve as the executive producer. Emmy Award-winning producer Robert Abbott, who oversaw ESPN25, the network's 25th anniversary programming, will be the coordinating producer, and former HBO director of documentary programming Julie Anderson, an accomplished television documentary producer who has earned several Emmy and Peabody Awards, will serve as senior producer.