who would believe or write anything based on third hand information from a person supposedly connected to a publishing house that is not publishing the original source material?
A total load of steaming toxic pig censored
Publishers only get involved with a movie/tv production if there's going to be a big promotional campaign that's going to cross over between the studio and the publishing house. TOR has nothing to do with the ASoI&F series. Now, if these rumours were based on a WILD CARDS film project, one would have to pause for a moment and consider the source. But TOR is not the publisher of ASoI&F, Bantam Spectra is, and the chasm between the SF publishing world and Hollywood studios is deep, wide and vast.
We have not heard anything, anything at all, about the current status of the option and possible pilot at HBO. We do know that HBO has a pilot script for AGOT, and that several layers of studio 'suits' have liked what they've seen so far. As Ran pointed out, with the current WGA strike and looming strikes by the other creative unions, few, if any, new projects can be confirmed right now, and it is unlikely studios will start filming new projects until the outcome of the strike(s) is determined. Usually what happens is the WGA takes it on the chin, and then the following guilds say "we'll have what the WGA had, only with extra pickles" and all is good in Hollywood and production schedules fill up once again. Yes, the studios are taking this opportunity to dump various development deals with indy producers and writers. There is NO indication that HBO is trying to dump the HBO project at this time.
There is a possibility that HBO could 'greenlight' pre-production. But no work on polishing the pilot script or working on creating following episodes/show bibles/anything to do with writing more on a ASoI&F series for HBO can be done under present circumstances. Still, it's further along than much of its competition at HBO, having a completed pilot script, and at least some pre-production could conceivably happen, or at least be ready to start once the strike was settled.
Did (the source) even try to find a second source for his 'news'? Does he understand what happens when a literary work is optioned and then is adapted for a film or tv series? I don't think so, and I resent him attempting to spread unfounded rumours, if not outright confabulations, about a project he can know nothing about.