May 22, 2008 / 4:29 AM / 11 years ago

HBO signs Rich deal with N.Y. Times columnist

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - HBO has enlisted New York Times columnist Frank Rich as a creative consultant.

While remaining at his day job, Rich will contribute to the network’s original programming development, and could become a producer on any projects he helps shepherd. He is not expected to contribute in any on-air role.

As a result of his connection to HBO, Rich will not write for the Times on anything relating to the cable channel or its Time Warner parent, though he can write a disclaimer divulging his connection should something he write about tangentially touch on the conglomerate.

“It’s pretty easy to avoid, and not the subject of my columns,” said Rich, who cleared his involvement with his employer.

Rich said he is far from alone at the newspaper in terms of employees with extracurricular roles at TV networks. Political writer John Harwood and technology columnist David Pogue, for instance, moonlight on CNBC.

HBO and Rich declined to elaborate on any specific projects or topics on which they are already collaborating, citing the “embryonic” status of the newly cemented relationship.

HBO doesn’t typically hire creative consultants, though HBO’s programming group president Richard Plepler added that it is not something the network is looking to do on a regular basis.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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