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Bomani Jones Is Blazing His Own Trail In Sports Media

Jason Barrett

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Bomani Jones likes to talk. Not just in the selfish manner of someone who likes to hear himself, but as someone interested in sharing ideas with anyone who’ll listen. He’s hardly predictable, rarely brief, and full of elongated vowels. His cadence is too quick to diminish as a drawl, yet distinctly relaxed and unmistakably southern. He’s both common and unique; the approachable man with the unattainable intellect. Holding master’s degrees in both politics and economics, he’s regularly called the smartest person in sports media. But “smartest” feels too lofty for someone so grounded, no?

“I have everyman tendencies.” says Jones over the phone while overlooking the pastel glitz of South Beach. “But at this point, talking to you on the balcony of this beachfront condo, it’s very difficult for me to sell that as the everyman experience. That being said, I do feel like the everyman that somehow ended up in a beachfront condo.”

Besides, what is it to be ‘smart’ anyway? Is it retention or comprehension? What value does it have without proper dissemination? What value does that have if it devolves into mere rhetoric? Trite questions, yes, however they matter to anyone looking to amass an audience rooted in sincerity. So Jones asks himself daily, and the numbers for his ESPN radio show, The Right Time, keep growing. Considering his non-traditional background and the fact he was fired four times in five years— including once by ESPN—perhaps we should be calling him the luckiest man in sports?

You see, those four letters screwed a lot of people this year. Through controversy, circumstance, or cord cutting, three of ESPN’s most notable names—Bill Simmons, Colin Cowherd and Jason Whitlock—all departed along with hundreds of full time employees and millions of dollars in subscriptions. But from the quaint little corner of the internet in which many of us reside, only Grantland was mourned. Only Grantland mattered.

ESPN is more than a conglomerate. It’s as intrinsic and inescapable to sports fans as the sky itself. Yet despite compelling documentaries, interviews and reporting, their reliance on hot takes and insipid sound bytes have left us wondering whether the goal is driving discussion or simply drawing attention. Grantland’s existence was a tacit acknowledgement that there was more to be said; that there was more than the bottom line, that the sky rains on the just and the unjust alike. But the last thing they need is another eulogy. We just need another Grantland.

Jones, 35, couldn’t have risen to prominence at a better time. While his style differs greatly from Simmons, or for that matter any of the folks formerly associated with Grantland, he can more than match their level of substance. The Right Time is a forum for deconstructing the complex and celebrating silliness, a place where the message is never compromised and the news is only as mundane as you make it. The power of the written word remains self-evident, however, as we become more connected online and the news cycle turns faster each day, by the time the word is written, the conversation has changed. But radio, the dinosaur of all media technologies, has always allowed the discussion to happen in real time. The Right Time, even. It’s what Jones lives for.

Born in Atlanta and raised in Houston, Jones is the son of professors in economics and political science. Discussion is in his blood. A childhood surrounded by PhDs enriched it. Yet it was only after a bachelor’s from Clark Atlanta University and a master’s from Claremont that—en route a master’s in economics at UNC Chapel Hill under renowned economist Sandy Darity—our protagonist found his calling.

A mutual friend shared Jones’ fledgling work with the late Ralph Wiley, who complimented Jones on his writing. A year later, Jones received his first assignment upon Wiley’s recommendation for ESPN. Two years later, he was under contract with the Worldwide Leader. Briefly, that is. The one-year contract was not renewed. But hey, sometimes that’s just the way things work and it was through this turn of events that Jones found the radio. Back in North Carolina, this time at Duke as an adjunct professor on the Black Athlete in America, he was asked by a friend to host a Saturday sports show on 850 The Buzz, in Raleigh. The rest, as they say, is history.

Except, it wasn’t. A year later the station was sold and Jones read of his replacement in a press release. He made a few more stops; Hardcore Sports Radio, The Score, SB Nation, but in the interest of your time and our space, let’s just say he learned two all-important lessons on his way back to ESPN: He would never be afraid to be himself and if he lost a job, it wasn’t the end of the world.

To continue reading this article visit Complex where it was originally published

Sports Radio News

K&C Masterpiece: Cowboys Could Add 30 Million More Viewers To Super Bowl

“The Cowboys in the Super Bowl against the Chiefs would’ve shattered all viewership ratings.”

Jordan Bondurant

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The matchup in this year’s Super Bowl is set, and the game will undoubtedly be the most-viewed program on TV this year. But if the Dallas Cowboys were taking part in the game, it’s safe to say the ratings would be astronomical.

The Cowboys divisional playoff game against San Francisco drew 45.7 million viewers. It was the second-most watched divisional round contest on record.

The NFC championship between San Francisco and Philadelphia drew 47.5 million.

On 105.3 The Fan in Dallas, K&C Masterpiece host Kevin Hageland said had the Cowboys made it to Philly, the viewership would’ve been even better.

“I know the game sucked, but that just shows you, because the Cowboys were like almost 8 million above every other divisional game, this could’ve gotten to 58 (million),” Hageland said.

Kevin added that if Dallas had gone all the way, the audience tuning in would’ve easily eclipsed some of the highest-rated programs of all-time.

“The Cowboys in the Super Bowl against the Chiefs would’ve shattered all viewership ratings,” he said. “Even with the new system and so many people streaming and everything like that.”

Usually the Super Bowl averages around 100 million viewers. Hageland said a Cowboys Super Bowl appearance in this day and age would’ve set the new top ratings mark for years to come.

“My estimation would be you would add approximately an extra 30 million people,” he said.

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Sports Radio News

Angelo Cataldi Bans Andy Reid’s Voice From WIP Morning Show

“25% of the people who voted in our poll and said they admire and respect Reid more than Sirianni, you 25% have not been paying any attention for years.”

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As Super Bowl LVII approaches, many storylines have emerged. One includes Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid facing off with the team he coached for 14 years, the Philadelphia Eagles. Reid is a beloved figure in NFL circles, but 94WIP morning host Angelo Cataldi couldn’t hold back his disdain for the coaching legend.

On Tuesday morning, Cataldi mentioned he couldn’t believe Reid was so highly regarded in NFL media circles. The longtime host said Reid was never truthful during interviews.

After playing clips that included Reid saying the Eagles “were a good team” and how the Chiefs “would need a good game plan” to grab a victory, Cataldi took issue with the generalities Reid spoke with. When asked what he expected from an NFL head coach, Cataldi compared Reid to current Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni.

“I was expecting something like Nick gives me every time,” Cataldi said. “I hate Reid ’cause he never won me the Super Bowl, I hate Reid that it took him six years to get there, it took Nick two, and I hate Reid because he never bothered to share a damn thing. If you’re out there, with 25% of the people who voted in our poll and said they admire and respect Reid more than Sirianni, you 25% have not been paying any attention for years.”

Cataldi — who admitted “I don’t like the man, and I’ve never liked the man” — said he received more than 300 emails about Reid, noting he didn’t realize he was “widely regarded as the all-time Andy Reid critic” in Philadelphia.

The 94WIP host added listeners will not hear the voice of the “phony, fraud” Reid any longer on his morning show.

“I do not control the other dayparts here. I don’t control the newsroom. I’m done playing anything said by Andy Reid. ‘Cause I learned over 14 years it’s a waste of time.”

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Sports Radio News

Seth Payne: Ross Tucker is Stealing My Takes Without Attribution

“He is the manager that takes your ideas and then sends them up one level without any attribution whatsoever.”

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Seth Payne cannot say he wasn’t warned. When Ross Tucker joined Payne and Pendergast on Sports Radio 610 in Houston earlier this week, the seven-year NFL veteran told Payne that his take was so good that he would be stealing it.

“You know what, Seth, that is a great point that I am going to use the rest of the week in all my media stuff,” Tucker said when Payne suggested that the Philadelphia Eagles “earned” an injury to the San Francisco 49ers’ quarterbacks by taking advantage of poor blocking schemes that included using tight ends to block NFL sack leader Hasson Reddick.

A listener named Burch tweeted evidence to Seth Payne of Ross Tucker following through on his promise.

“If the rest of you out there can be more like Burch and let us know when people are stealing our good takes, they can have our bad takes,” Payne’s morning show partner Sean Pendergast said on Tuesday morning.

The duo then played the audio, which they said appeared to come from an unidentified CBS show. In it, Tucker says that the Eagles “earned those injuries” and used tight ends being assigned to block Reddick as his justification for the take.

“I think it’s pretty obvious what kind of a boss Ross Tucker is, like what kind of a manager,” Payne said. “He is the manager that takes your ideas and then sends them up one level without any attribution whatsoever.”

Ross Tucker is no shortage of platforms to spread the take around. He is on multiple Audacy sports talk stations during the football season. He also makes regular appearances with Dan Patrick and SiriusXM as well as hosting his own podcast.

“This is what you get from these Princeton types,” Payne said of being ripped off. “This is how they get where they are in the world.”

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