Ross Greenburg Hangs His Own Shingle
But in an interview, outgoing HBO Sports chief won't rule out return to a network gig
By Ben Grossman -- Broadcasting & Cable, 7/17/2011 11:34:25 PMRoss Greenburg Leaves HBO Sports
HBO Sports chief Ross Greenburg, who is leaving the company after 33 years, is turning his attention in the short term to producing.
"I'm looking at starting to set up my own thing," he told B&C in an interview Sunday. "A little Ross Greenburg Productions. I'm excited to be able to produce for a wide variety of networks. Perhaps even out of sports."
But Greenburg, who has overseen the highly-touted HBO Sports division since September of 2000 and amassed 51 Sports Emmys and 8 Peabody Awards, also wouldn't rule out a return to a network gig.
"If any network wants to call, that's fine too," he says. "It would depend on the opportunity, but yeah, I would if it was the right opportunity."
Greenburg's departure comes in the wake of ongoing rumors he would be replaced at the network. Multiple sources had opined that Greenburg's departure was going to be announced on the Friday before the July 4 holiday. But both sides maintain it was Greenburg's choice to step away.
HBO released the following statement, attributed to HBO Co-President Richard Plepler and Michael Lombardo, president, HBO Programming: "We believe that Ross' track record speaks for itself. He has helped redefine the sports programming genre and set an extraordinary standard of excellence in the industry. We will miss his leadership, vision, creativity and passion for sports television."
And Greenburg says he won't miss the "mean-spirited" people who were predicting his demise.
"Let them have their next victim to go after," he said.
An HBO spokesperson declined via email to comment on a replacement for Greenburg.
In the meantime, Greenburg says he wants to spend some time producing new projects he didn't get to while at HBO. He says the one thing he wishes he could have done more of at the network was making feature films.
"I had such a great experience with Miracle and 61*," he says of two film projects he did at HBO. "I just couldn't get more done because I didn't have the time, now I do. I have five or six projects on my desk I would love to do, but there was only so much I could do at HBO Sports."
While he was clearly one of the most influential people in boxing, Greenburg says he doesn't see himself working in the sport anytime soon. His departure does come as CBS-owned Showtime has stepped up its position in the sport.
"For the time being, I'll take a step back," he says. "I'll probably remove myself from boxing."
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