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Maher Launches Podcast Network, Hires Conservative Sage Steele To Host First Show

'She’s the perfect choice to be our first new host because, like me, she pissed off Disney'

Maher Launches Podcast Network, Hires Conservative Sage Steele To Host First Show

Bill Maher announced the launch of Club Random Studios and has tapped conservative pundit Sage Steele, formerly of ESPN, to host her own show on the podcasting network.

Maher, who launched his podcast Club Random in 2022, announced his new podcast network in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter and described the venture as an idea 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 premiered The Sage Steele Show on Wednesday, marking Club Random Studios' first show aside from Maher's podcast.

“She’s the perfect choice to be our first new host because, like me, she pissed off Disney," Maher continued. "There’s a certain poetic symmetry to that."

“These are not rookies, these are grown-ass adult, mature, fun, unafraid people,” the comedian added. “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.”

Steele told the outlet her show would focus on "conversations, not interviews," and will feature athletes, executives, actors, comedians, and politicians among other guests.

“What I’ve always tried to dig out during my career is the ‘why’ behind people and get that human interest story,” Steele said of her partnership with Maher. “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."

Steele said she has always been a curious person, adding she knows firsthand what it's like to be feel vulnerable when opening up and sharing opinions.

“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," she continued. "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."

The former ESPN host lauded Maher for "practicing what he preaches."

"He thinks marriage is a joke, and kids are annoying. And he’s an atheist," she said. "I was married for 20 years. I have three kids and I am a strong Christian Catholic.”

Steele continued:

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.

Last year, Steele departed ESPN after filing a lawsuit alleging the network had violated her freedom of speech by targeting her for comments she made about COVID-19 and vaccine mandates.

“Having successfully settled my case with ESPN/Disney, I have decided to leave so I can exercise my first amendment rights more freely,” Steele wrote on X last August.

“I am grateful for so many wonderful experiences over the past 16 years and am excited for my next chapter!” she added.

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