Jim Lampley on His Time at KCBS, Olympic Coverage

I recently had the chance to interview HBO Sports announcer and former KCBS anchor Jim Lampley about his remarkable career for “So What Do You Do” and here are the nuggets that I saved for FishbowlLA.


FBLA: Do you have any regrets about your time at KCBS?

JL: I have no regrets about everything I experienced as a television news anchor. I think it was a very productive part of my process. It was probably another reason why I didn’t feel uncomfortable later on in the political arena because I had done news for four years. At the end of the day, that job was not as satisfying to me. I didn’t get as much out of it as some of the other things in my career. I had to do it to learn that so I couldn’t honestly say I was disappointed or regretful about that. I did what I did and it was good for me at the time. It helped me grow.

FBLA: What does it say about the current state of Olympic coverage when the broadcaster who’s anchored a record 14 games won’t be working in London but Ryan Seacrest will be?

JL: Well, everything changes. I have to confess that I looked around at Beijing and among the many things I thought was, “We got old.” This group doesn’t change a lot from year to year and there’s certainly a benefit to that continuity. But on the other hand, I don’t see the number of young faces here like 10, 12, 16 years ago. Whether it involved me or anybody else, change was inevitable. Change was probably timely and I like watching it on TV.

FBLA: You’ve done your share of sports talk radio including serving as one of the first hosts on WFAN in New York. Have you ever considered one last run in radio or podcasting?

JL: My real interest is in producing; it’s a full-time occupation and running Atticus Entertainment is a 24-hours-a-day business for me. So, I don’t miss radio or a deeper and greater involvement with the Web at this moment because that energy is being devoted to trying to broaden my activities as a producer.

FBLA: Would boxing benefit from a network broadcast deal similar to what the UFC signed with Fox last year?

I don’t think so. I don’t think that boxing is a commercial television sport. I think boxing is a premium pay cable sport. I think the marriage that benefits boxing is the marriage between commercial, premium pay cable subscriber television and boxing. Network television marries well with sports that provide abundance and regularity. Being on pay cable is the opposite. It’s about scarcity and distinctiveness. Boxing, like premium pay cable, sells scarcity and distinctiveness. One of a kind experiences. You have to see it here or else you aren’t going to see it. That’s completely different from what commercial television does.

You can listen to Lampley call the Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley fight this Saturday on HBO pay-per-view.

Photo Credit: Monte Isom