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Bomani Jones Is Blazing His Own Trail In Sports Media

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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

Mark Chernoff Joins 107.1 The Boss in New Jersey

“I’m looking forward to getting back on the radio at 107.1 The Boss, and to being able to live in both the Sports and Rock worlds.”

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Mark Chernoff has found a new radio home. The former brand manager of the iconic WFAN is now part of Robby & Rochelle In The Morning on 107.1 The Boss in Monmouth/Ocean, New Jersey.

Chernoff makes his debut on May 31 as the show’s sports anchor. He will also be available to cover swing shifts as needed on the station.

“I’m looking forward to getting back on the radio at 107.1 The Boss, and to being able to live in both the Sports and Rock worlds,” he said.  “Many thanks to Robby and Rochelle for inviting me into THEIR world.” 

It was the end of June 2021 when Mark Chernoff left WFAN. He spent 28 years there as program director. He also served as the VP of Sports Programming for Audacy. He was succeeded in that role by Spike Eskin, who Audacy brought to New York from its Philadelphia sports talker, 94 WIP.

Prior to CBS Radio being acquired by then-Entercom, Chernoff also served as VP of Sports Programming for that company and played an integral role for its push into FM sports talk in the middle of the first decade of the 21st century.

“Mark is exceptional talent and a brilliant strategic mind I’ve long respected. I’m thrilled to have him join our team of outstanding broadcasters at Press!” said Robby Bridges, who also serves as PD of 107.1 The Boss.

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Sports Radio News

Danny Balis Explains Exit From The Ticket in Dallas

“The room for growth for me up here is not going to open up until all you knuckleheads retire.”

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After 22 years, Danny Balis is finished as a producer on 96.7/1310 The Ticket in Dallas.

Balis, 54, told The Dallas Morning News the announcement of his departure “was an unusual situation to actually be able to speak on it on air.”

“I’d rather spend this time focusing on peace of mind, quality of life and maybe open the door for somebody else to take that [producer’s] seat,” he said on The Hardline with hosts Corby Davidson and Bob Sturm.

Balis is a musician and business owner in the Metroplex. That’s where he will shift his attention. He told Davidson and Sturm that there were no opportunities for advancement at the station that would warrant him sticking around.

“The room for growth for me up here is not going to open up until all you knuckleheads retire,” he said. “Then by that time, we’re all the same age.”

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Bobby Carpenter Tells Grant & Danny How Nick Saban Interview Came Together

“Carpenter’s partner on SiriusXM, Jacob Hester, played his college football at LSU. He was recruited there by Saban, who was head coach of the Tigers from 2000 until 2004 when he left to coach the Miami Dolphins.”

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Alabama head football coach Nick Saban and Texas A&M head football coach Jimbo Fisher got the attention of the sports talk world with their comments about each other personally and about the programs they run.

Saban made an appearance on SiriusXM with Jacob Hester and Bobby Carpenter in the aftermath of Fisher’s fiery response, where the Crimson Tide coaching legend tried to set things straight. He wasn’t asked directly about what Fisher said.

Carpenter spoke to Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier on 106.7 The Fan in D.C. on Friday, and said the timing of Saban’s appearance was coincidental.

“It was pre-scheduled before all of that stuff happened,” Carpenter said.

Carpenter’s partner on SiriusXM, Jacob Hester, played his college football at LSU. He was recruited there by Saban, who was head coach of the Tigers from 2000 until 2004 when he left to coach the Miami Dolphins.

Hester, who played just one season for Saban, likely created a level of comfort for the coach that most other national media outlets could not offer.

Bobby Carpenter added that he did want to pressure Saban a little bit about what he had to say about other football coaches using name, image, and likeness deals to lure recruits.

“I don’t think his SID was really keen on him coming on there,” he said. “But I tried to ask some tough but respectful questions through everything.”

Saban in the interview apologized for singling out not only Fisher and A&M, but Deion Sanders and his Jackson State program as well as the University of Miami basketball program. Saban also attempted to contact Jimbo directly, but Fisher has admitted publicly he wasn’t going to take that phone call right now.

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