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IMG is diving into the podcast space with ESPN host Tony Kornheiser, The Hollywood Reporter has exclusively learned.
The Tony Kornheiser Show, which originated as a radio program in 1992, will be the first foray into podcasting for the agency’s original content division. IMG is partnering with on-demand audio provider DGital Media for the daily podcast, which launches Sept. 6.
“On-demand audio gives me the chance to connect with my audience in a very personal, meaningful way,” said Kornheiser, who left the radio airwaves in June. “The relaunch of the show to a platform that gives us more freedom to be the combination of smart and funny that we strive to be as we babble about the sports, politics, news and absurd stories of the day is a perfect match. I’m excited to partner with DGital Media and IMG as we look for ways to give our fans, new and old, more of what they love about the show.”
Kornheiser has co-hosted ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption with Michael Wilbon since 2001. As a print journalist, he wrote for The Washington Post from 1979 to 2012 and began his career as a reporter at Newsday and The New York Times.
“Tony is one of the few national personalities who continues to generate both buzz and news on a daily basis,” DGital Media chief content officer Chris Corcoran said in a statement. “His storytelling expertise and sports knowledge are unmatched, and we are excited to create an exciting new home for his show and his fans.”
Although The Tony Kornheiser Show is the first podcast from IMG Original Content, sister agency WME has struck several podcast deals for its clients, including Sophia Amoruso (#GirlBoss Radio), Stephen Dubner (Freakonomics, Question of the Day), Malcolm Gladwell (Revisionist History), Brian Koppelman (The Moment) and Slate (Cultural Gabfest). WME also put together tours for popular podcasts from Kevin Smith (SModcast) and Grace Helbig (Not Too Deep); sold TV adaptations of Star Talk Radio Show (Neil De Grasse Tyson), WTF With Marc Maron and Michael Davies’ Men in Blazers; and signed the hit podcast Limetown for book and TV deals.
“Across all mediums, Tony Kornheiser has come to represent honest, pointed and entertaining storytelling in sports journalism,” said WME-IMG chief content officer Mark Shapiro, a former programming executive at ESPN. “Given our long history, I’m personally excited to be reunited with Tony and his unique brand of commentary. Our entire WME-IMG team is proud to be a part of evolving Tony’s iconic show for the digital age.”
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