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This morning CBS Sports confirmed that longtime ESPN host Jim Rome would be joining CBS, as a contributor to CBS Sports programming, the CBS Sports Networks and Showtime Sports. Rome will host an eponymous weekday program on CBS Sports Network, as well as a “Real Sports”-esque program on Showtime.
Given the wide-ranging deal, and his high-profile in the sports world, it is also reasonable to think that Rome could end up on CBS News programming, say on “CBS This Morning,” the just-launched morning news program. Sports is a huge news topic, and neither ABC nor NBC have someone with Rome’s background to discuss it (though ABC’s Josh Elliott and Robin Roberts come close, given their “SportsCenter” history).
For CBS, the hire gives CBS Sports Network and Showtime a high-profile host to build their brands, while Rome gets to contribute to some of the most-watched TV programming out there with NFL, U.S. Open and NCAA coverage.
More information after the jump.
JIM ROME JOINS CBS FAMILY CONTRIBUTING ACROSS MULTIPLE PLATFORMS
Rome To Host New Weekday Program “ROME” on CBS Sports Network
Rome Also to Host New Series on SHOWTIME® and Contribute to CBS Sports
Jim Rome has signed a multi-year deal with CBS and will contribute across multiple CBS Corporation platforms. CBS Sports Network will launch ROME, a new half-hour show airing weekdays at 6:00 PM, ET, hosted by Rome. In addition, he will host a new sports and entertainment series on SHOWTIME adding to the premium network’s ever-growing sports programming lineup. Rome also will contribute to CBS Sports’ coverage of the NFL, NCAA basketball and U.S. Open Tennis Championships, as well as other select events. Rome, and content from the new shows, will be featured on CBS interactive platforms including CBSSports.com.
Rome will make his CBS Sports debut during coverage of the 2012 NCAA Final Four® with ROME beginning on CBS Sports Network on Tuesday, April 3. The SHOWTIME series will cover a spectrum of sports and entertainment topics and debut in late Fall 2012.
“We are thrilled to welcome Jim Rome to the CBS family,” said Sean McManus, Chairman, CBS Sports. “Jim is a high profile, marquee talent who elevates our overall sports coverage and is a perfect fit within the growing platforms of CBS Sports and SHOWTIME Sports®.”
“I am ecstatic to be joining the CBS family,” said Rome. “I’m fired up for the launch of ROME on CBS Sports Network this spring and excited to be collaborating with Showtime–a creative, dynamic network allowing me to host and create something completely original and fresh. Being asked to contribute to CBS Sports on its coverage of the NFL, NCAA basketball, U.S. Open Tennis Championships, as well as other events is a realization of a lifelong dream. CBS Sports is the pinnacle. And I’m ready to get after it.”
“Jim is a well-known and highly-respected sports personality with a fast-paced, high-energy and opinionated take on the sports world,” said David Berson, Executive Vice President, CBS Sports and President, CBS Sports Network. “We’re developing and launching new content initiatives further strengthening CBS Sports’ relationship with fans. Jim, along with his passionate and loyal following, is an ideal addition to CBS Sports Network.”
“I’ve been a long-time fan of Jim Rome,” said David Nevins, President of Entertainment, Showtime Networks Inc. “He has set the industry standard for sports opinion and analysis since his first days on the national scene. He’s never shied away from provocative topics and I think his brand matches our brand perfectly. On SHOWTIME, he will have a broad platform to blend his unique insight with impactful features on an array of pop culture topics. Rome promises to be an important addition for us as we continue to expand our portfolio of sports programming.”
Rome has hosted numerous television programs over the last two decades and brings his provocative sports news and conversation format to CBS Sports Network. His new show, ROME, will feature news and opinion on the day’s hottest sports stories with rants, debates and guest appearances by some of the biggest names in sports. The show will originate from Orange County, Calif., where Rome also originates his daily, live radio show.
ROME and the SHOWTIME series will be produced by Generate Entertainment in association with dick clark productions, inc.
“We’re excited to partner with CBS and launch the Jim Rome brand across the powerful spectrum of CBS platforms,” said Mark Shapiro, Chief Executive Officer, dick clark productions. “Through the rapidly growing CBS Sports Network and SHOWTIME’s distinguished sports coverage, this deal provides unparalleled exposure to Jim Rome’s dynamic and original personality.”
“I look forward to working with the production team and have been searching for an opportunity to work again with Mark Shapiro,” said Rome.
Rome will continue to host his nationally-syndicated radio program, “The Jim Rome Show,” which airs weekdays from NOON until 3:00 PM, ET on 244 radio stations across the country, the highest number of affiliates in the show’s 15-year history.
Previously in his career, Rome served as host of “Jim Rome is Burning” on ESPN, as well as “The Last Word with Jim Rome,” televised nightly on Fox Sports Net. Prior to “The Last Word with Jim Rome,” he spent a two-year stint hosting ESPN2’s “Talk2,” a nightly one-hour interview show. Rome began his radio career at KTMS, Santa Barbara as the “$5 dollar-an-hour” traffic reporter and covered UC Santa Barbara’s sports. He left KTMS for San Diego’s all-sports station, XTRA Sports 690.