Tonight, starting at 9 pm ET, Bomani Jones begins his takeover. When Jones’ ESPN Radio show — The Right Time with Bomani Jones — premieres nationally, it will be the next chapter in an impressive career. Jones wants to make it more than that. He wants The Right Time to be the best.
“My goal’s to do the best show on the air,” Jones told FishbowlNY. “I’ve done a morning show on Sirius that had to compete with Howard Stern, who was the reason we even existed, and sports properties like Mike and Mike. I’ve done 12-3 with Jim Rome and Rush Limbaugh on at the same time. The goal then was to do a show that was good enough to make people break their normal habits, try something new, and then stick around. That’s the same goal now.”
Anyone who has followed Jones knows part of his appeal is that — no matter what the subject is — he appears incapable of pulling any punches. He’s not worried that his blunt take on everything from pop culture to racial issues could present problems for the typical sports radio listener. “I firmly believe that I’m a lot like our listeners, and I think they’ll feel my appreciation for their lives and they’ll see some of themselves in me,” explained Jones.
When asked about his unique ability to examine issues through a racial lens, Jones insisted it won’t be a focal point on The Right Time, but added that he won’t shy away from it either.
“I’m not going to start every day asking ‘What can we view through the prism of race today?’ But if that’s what matters in the news, that’s what we’ll talk about. That might be something deathly serious at times, but it also might be in a way that’s pretty benign and fun to talk about. I’m not scared of race as a topic and, after listening a few times, I think listeners will see they don’t need to be afraid of it, either.”
Jones is extremely confident, but he admitted going national presents a new set of obstacles. “I want people who listen to the show to feel like they’re a part of something special, something they can feel some feeling of ownership in,” he said. “That was tough, but totally feasible, when I worked for smaller outlets. I want to try to make this big platform feel small and cozy, too, and I’m curious to see what it will take to make that happen. I think it will, though.”
If anyone can do it, Jones can. The man is relentless, hilarious and smart. We almost envy anyone who hasn’t heard of him. The Right Time will surely prove it’s better late than never.