Jim Rome

Jim Rome
Birth name James Phillip Rome
Born (1964-10-14) October 14, 1964
Tarzana, California, U.S.
Show The Jim Rome Show
Station(s) CBS Sports Radio
Time slot 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. EST Monday-Friday
Style Sports radio
Country United States
Children Jake, Logan
Website The Jim Rome Show

James Phillip "Jim" Rome (born October 14, 1964) is an American sports radio talk show host syndicated by CBS Sports Radio.

Broadcasting from a studio near Los Angeles, California, Rome hosts The Jim Rome Show on radio. For a number of years Rome hosted a television show Jim Rome Is Burning (formerly Rome Is Burning), which aired on ESPN in the United States and TSN2 in Canada. In 2011, Rome ended his relationship with ESPN to join the CBS network where he hosts his own show, as well as an interview-format show on the Showtime channel.[1] His past hosting jobs included sports discussion television shows Talk2 (ESPN2), The FX Sports Show (FX), and The Last Word (Fox Sports Net). The Jim Rome Show is tied for the #21 most listened to talk radio show in the United States [2] and Rome is the #29 most influential talk radio personality[3] according to Talkers Magazine.

From April 2012 to March 2015, Rome had a television sports talk show on CBS Sports Network named Rome. During the same time period he had a monthly TV sports/entertainment talk show on Showtime named Jim Rome on Showtime.

Personal life

Born in Tarzana, California, Rome graduated from Calabasas High School in 1982[4] and the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) with a degree in Communications in 1987.[5][6] He lives in Irvine, California, with his wife, Janet (Nauman), and their two sons, Jake (age 12) and Logan (age 8).[5][7]

Early broadcasting start

Rome started his radio career at college radio station KCSB-FM while at UCSB, where he was sports director for one quarter, and at news station KTMS, also located in Santa Barbara. He eventually moved to XTRA Sports 690 in San Diego, where he started what is now known as The Jim Rome Show, or "The Jungle," with a loop of the instrumental intro of Iggy Pop's song "Lust for Life" and the instrumental intro of Guns N' Roses' song "Welcome to the Jungle" as the show's signature music. The show became syndicated in 1996. It can now be heard on over 200 radio stations across the United States and Canada. In 1998, Rome released an album entitled Welcome to the Jungle, which featured memorable sound bites and music from the show.

In early 2003, Rome was interviewing friend Mark Shapiro, executive producer of programming and production at ESPN, on his radio program. Unexpectedly, the two began to discuss a possible return of Rome to ESPN, and within a few months, Rome was officially rehired to host Rome Is Burning. Rome openly attributes that interview as the impetus to his return to television.

In July 2006, Rome announced that his nationally syndicated radio show would remain on terrestrial radio instead of going to satellite radio. The radio show is heard on more than 200 stations across the United States and Canada and has an audience of approximately 2.5 million.[6]

Controversy and incidents

Rome gained notoriety for an incident in his ESPN2 show Talk2 in 1994 when his guest was NFL quarterback Jim Everett. Rome had previously referred to Everett as "Chris" (after Chris Evert, the female tennis player), suggesting that Everett was less than a man whenever he shied away from getting hit. Appearing as a guest on the show, Everett warned Rome about repeating the insult. Rome continued his taunt, causing Everett to overturn the table between them and shove Rome to the floor while still on the air. Their confrontation resulted in no legal action although Rome publicly apologized to Everett. Rome considers that event one of his early career mistakes.[8]

In 1997, hockey legend Gordie Howe announced an attempt to play a shift with the International Hockey League's Detroit Vipers, which would allow Howe to claim having played professional hockey in six decades. Rome challenged the 69-year-old ex-hockey star, offering a bounty of $3,000 to any player on the team playing against the Vipers to take Howe out of the game permanently by saying, "Putting this old fool back to reality." Rome clarified that the statements were a joke.[9]

In 2012, Rome was involved in a controversy with NBA Commissioner David Stern. During an interview, Rome asked Stern about the conspiracy theories that the NBA Draft Lottery was fixed in favor of the New Orleans Hornets, and he asked, "Was the fix in for the lottery?" Stern replied with two answers: "Number one, no; and a statement, shame on you for asking." He then proceeded to ask Rome, "Have you stopped beating your wife yet?" and accused Rome of "making a career out of cheap thrills". This led to a heated exchange between Rome and Stern, ending when Stern said he had "to go call someone important like Stephen A. Smith."[10]

On January 1, 2015, Rome sent out a tweet that stated, "Is there anyone not in a marching band who thinks those dorks running around with their instruments are cool?" After a backlash, he later deleted the tweet and issued an apology. The incident also inspired the hashtag "#MarchOnRome".[11]

Celebrity appearances

Rome made cameo appearances in the movies Space Jam, Two for the Money, and the 2005 remake of The Longest Yard. He appeared in Blink-182's music video "What's My Age Again?"[12] and appeared on the HBO sitcom Arliss.

On May 3, 2004, Rome hosted the memorial service for Pat Tillman.[13] On January 28, 2006, Rome was elected to the Southern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.[14]

The Oliver Stone film Any Given Sunday features John C. McGinley playing the brash sportscaster "Jack Rose," a character based on Jim Rome.[15]

Horse racing

JR emblem to come...
Racing colors of Jim Rome's Jungle Racing, LLC

After poking fun at horse racing for some years, saying "it's not a sport, it's a bet," Rome seemed to take more interest in horse racing after interviewing Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux many times on his radio talk show. Rome thereafter took up a stronger interest in buying Thoroughbreds. He first became a part owner in Wing Forward, who, in his North American debut, made a dramatic last-to-first comeback to win the race. Rome mentioned it as "one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had." In 2008, Jim and his wife Janet purchased a stake in a two-year-old colt, giving them a potential shot at the Triple Crown stakes races in 2009. Listeners suggested names for the horse, who was eventually named Gallatin's Run.[16]

By 2012, Rome owned part or all of 14 horses in connection with multiple partnerships including his own stable, Jungle Racing, LLC.[17] The first to gain national attention was the winner of the 2012 and 2013 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint, a filly named Mizdirection. He described his feelings upon winning the Breeder's Cup race, saying, “I’ve just had a moment I’ve never experienced in my life. That was absolutely awesome.” He purchased an interest in her for $50,000 in 2010. He co-owned the mare with Bill Strauss, Danny Gohs, Borris Beljak, and Kevin Nish.[18] As of September 2013 Mizdirection won 11 of 17 starts and retired from racing with $1,719,621 in earnings. She was usually ridden by jockey Mike Smith.[19] Two days after her 2014 Breeders' Cup win, Mizdirection was purchased for $2.7 million at the Fasig-Tipton sale by Al Shaqab Racing of Qatar, owned by Sheikh Joaan Al Thani, and retired to become a broodmare.[20]

Rome's next significant race horse was Shared Belief, a gelding by Candy Ride, named the Eclipse Award winner in the 2-year-old male division for 2013.[21] As a three-year-old, he continued winning, and closed out the 2014 year with a record of eight wins in nine races (Five of six races in 2014 alone) and over $2 million in earnings, again with Mike Smith as his regular rider.[22] As a four-year-old, the horse defeated 2014 Kentucky Derby winner and horse of the year California Chrome in both horses' first race of the season, then Shared Belief went on to a decisive win in the Santa Anita Handicap.[22]

Tour Stops

Jim Rome's Tour Stops (also referred to as The Jim Rome World Tour) was a series of limited access live shows, often held in arenas, or other outdoor venues, which features sports-related guests and activities. The tour originated from The Jim Rome Show radio program, which is featured on over 200 affiliate radio stations in the United States and Canada. Generally, Rome would hold a few Tour Stops each year, with a very irregular schedule. They were quietly and informally discontinued after the Tour Stop at Cleveland in 2004. Rome has cited a more demanding television and radio schedule for the discontinuation of tour stops, most notably because of the inception of Jim Rome is Burning on ESPN. Show listeners, referred to as the "Clones," considered the Tour Stops a way of celebrating the popularity of the show, and a means of meeting other fans of the program. Since 2000 Rome promised to hold a Tour Stop in the city whose NFL team finished the season 0-16, his so-called "dream season." The Detroit Lions finally accomplished the feat in 2008, but no Tour Stop has been held thereafter in Detroit.

Tickets to a Tour Stop were normally free, but needed to be acquired from the local affiliate. Some Tour Stops have reportedly had over 10,000 in attendance. One of the Tour Stops' main attractions was the appearance of sports figures from local teams. Tour Stops were not broadcast on the radio, but Rome typically played clips from the activities and guests on the next regular program.


  1. Wall Street Journal, Entertainment, "Jim Rome leaves ESPN for gig at CBS, Showtime"
  2. "Top Talk Radio Audiences". Talkers Magazine. Retrieved February 18, 2008.
  3. "2008 Heavy 100". Talkers Magazine. Retrieved February 18, 2008.
  4. McAlevey, Peter (November 23, 1997), King of 'The Jungle'; Jim Rome Turned Sports Talk Radio Into a Howard Stern-ish Free-for-All. Not Everyone Is Glad He Did., Los Angeles Times, retrieved 2010-10-20
  5. 1 2 Jim Rome Official Website Biography
  6. 1 2 AskMen.com Biography
  7. Stewart, Larry (July 18, 1997). "Jim Rome Finally Finds His Biggest Fan". Los Angeles Times.
  8. Conley, Cecil (May 1, 2003). "Jim Rome Back for ESPN Encore". Beaver County Times. Retrieved June 19, 2012.
  9. "A bounty on Howe? No way". Record-Journal. September 28, 1997. Retrieved June 19, 2012.
  10. "David Stern, Jim Rome battle on radio". ESPN.com. June 13, 2012. Retrieved December 22, 2013.
  11. Larimer, Sarah (2 January 2015). "Jim Rome tweets his take on marching bands, then tweets apology for his take on marching bands". Washington Post. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  12. 2:04 of "What's My Age Again?" music video
  13. "Internet Movie Database (IMDB)".
  14. "Southern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame - Rome, Jim". Southern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved July 26, 2010.
  15. http://www.filmcritic.com/misc/emporium.nsf/reviews/Any-Given-Sunday
  16. Angst, Frank. Rome touts Thoroughbred ownership on The Jungle, Thoroughbred Times, October 1, 2007
  17. Genaro, Teresa (January 6, 2012). Forbes http://www.forbes.com/sites/teresagenaro/2012/01/06/jim-rome-out-of-the-jungle-and-onto-the-horse-farm/. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  18. Genaro, Teresa (November 4, 2012). Forbes http://www.forbes.com/sites/teresagenaro/2012/11/04/with-breeders-cup-win-jim-rome-joins-racings-elite/. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  19. http://www.equibase.com/profiles/Results.cfm?type=Horse&refno=8337995&registry=T
  20. http://www.forbes.com/sites/teresagenaro/2013/11/05/jim-romes-mizdirection-from-breeders-cup-victory-to-2-7-million-sale/
  21. http://www.drf.com/news/2013-eclipse-awards-shared-belief
  22. 1 2 http://www.equibase.com/profiles/Results.cfm?type=Horse&refno=9064077&registry=T
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