Jim Rome isn't sitting back and enjoying his success. Sure, he has a national sports talk radio show heard weekdays on more than 200 stations and a daily TV show, Rome, at 6 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.
But Rome always is looking for new challenges, and his latest is another new show, Jim Rome on Showtime debuts Wednesday at 10 p.m. It will be a one-on-one talk show that showcases some of the biggest names in sports and entertainment.
I talked with Rome from his Los Angeles office Sunday about his new Showtime venture as well as the many changes he has made over the past year.
JW: Can you talk about the new weekly program on Showtime?
Jim Rome: CBS and I talked about a project for Showtime that would be different from what people hear on my daily radio show or see on the CBS Sports Network program. I think it's going to work. It's different in a lot of ways, far and away the most challenging show I've ever taken on. I really don’t think there's anything else like it on television. I've always done that daily topical half-hour show, come in, rant, interview, panel, rant, thanks for coming. That's not what this show is. I want to go to another place and push another envelope.
The format is a one-on-one sit-down interview that is open, entertaining and free flowing, hitting on all the key topics of the day but also giving the viewers insight into what my guests really are passionate about. The show will have a crossover element. People in the arts, politicians, literary people all with an opinion on sports that they want to share with both me and the audience.
Wednesday we open with the Lakers' Kobe Bryant, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, actor Matthew Perry and Golden State Warriors co-owner and Hollywood executive Peter Guber. Not a bad starting lineup.
JW: Come January everything you do will be on CBS.
JR: Yes, I could not have had a better partner than Premier Radio. They have been wonderful to me, and I will be forever grateful. But CBS Radio is launching in January, and they will be offering me a chance to be on in cities where I have not been before, which is exciting. I like the idea of doing something new on both radio and TV. CBS has given me an amazing platform, and I look forward to the challenge.
JW: Are you happy with your career now?
JR: I am doing exactly what I want to do both on radio as well as on TV. I could not be happier with how things have worked out for me and I look forward to what the future holds. Because there's going to come a time where they'll say, 'Hey, old man, it was a good run, but we don't give a damn what you have to say anymore.' I want to keep that day at bay for as long as I can.
*All quotes in this story were obtained first hand in a phone interview set through Showtime.