*The rush is on for O.J. Simpson’s first post-parole television interview in the event that he’s actually released.
Legal experts expect Simpson, who was sentenced in 2008 for armed robbery and assault, to be granted parole, which means he could be out of prison by October, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“I don’t think there is a news organization in the U.S. that wouldn’t want an interview with O.J. Simpson,” says one TV news executive tells THR. “Whether you consider him a murderer or not, he is a newsmaker.”
At least 240 media credentials have been issued for the live hearing at 1 p.m. EST today in Carson City, according to the Nevada Department of Corrections. Dozens of satellite trucks are also expected at the Lovelock prison, where Simpson has been incarcerated for the past eight years and will speak via satellite.
According to THR, TV news bookers are working contacts close to Simpson, including friends and family, to secure a post-prison interview. But so far, no one has emerged as a frontrunner in the Simpson sweepstakes. And many news executives, none of whom would speak on the record, acknowledge that there is potential for a backlash given Simpson’s status as a pariah.
“Yes there would probably some blowback but also a tremendous amount of interest,” said one source. “Perhaps unprecedented interest.”
Here’s what to expect at today’s parole hearing:
• Simpson will speak and answer questions from parole board members via video conference for the first 30 to 45 minutes.
• He must get a majority of votes from the six parole board commissioners to receive parole.
• If paroled, he could be released as early as October, said David Smith, a spokesman for the Nevada Board of Parole Commissioners.