|Other names The Jungle|
Country United States
Syndicates CBS Sports Radio
|Genre Talk, sports|
|Running time Noon–3PM (Eastern), 9AM–Noon (Pacific)|
The Jim Rome Show (alternate name: The Jungle) is a sports radio talk show hosted by Jim Rome. It airs live for three hours each weekday from 9 a.m. to noon Pacific Standard Time. The show is produced in Los Angeles, syndicated by CBS Sports Radio, and can be heard on affiliate radio stations in the U.S. and Canada.
History of the show
The Jim Rome Show began on XTRA Sports 690 in San Diego. In 1996, Premiere Radio Networks picked up the program for national syndication. Sometime after, the show was shortened by one hour and the broadcast location was shifted from XTRA Sports 690 to the Premiere Radio Networks studio complex in Sherman Oaks, California. As part of the broadcast deal bringing Rome's TV show to CBS Sports Network, The Jim Rome Show became a charter program of CBS Sports Radio upon its full launch on January 2, 2013.
Show format and content
The three-hour program is a mixture of interviews, calls, emails, Tweets and Rome's own thoughts and analysis. The opening and closing theme is "Lust for Life" by Iggy Pop. The program usually begins with headlines, when Rome highlights the main sports news of the day with his thoughts and opinions.
One of the main parts of the program is Rome reading emails and Tweets on air. He usually comments positively or negatively depending on the message. Ones he does not like are followed by a loud crumpling noise, as if the message is being crumpled and thrown in the garbage. Many emails and Tweets are "smack talk", where the messenger is putting down someone in sports, pop culture, or even other listeners.
Rome takes calls and ask callers to call in, though many times he does not take any of the calls at all. Rome's rules for calls is "have a take, don't suck." Calls that are good in his opinion will be racked, which means they will be saved for future use. Bad calls get buzzed and cut off, followed usually by humiliation from Rome. Some calls get neither and usually will be followed by brief analysis or thoughts by Rome.
The final segments of the show usually include e-mail and Twitter contests. Sometimes these contests include $50 gift cards from one of Rome's sponsors, O'Reilly AutoParts.
Friday episodes include the week rewind, known as "Alvin Delloro's Week that Was", which is a compilation of show highlights over the past week alongside a mix of music.
Sometimes, for comedic effect, Rome replays a sound bite over and over.
From February 11 to March 11, 2009, all of Rome's shows contained an interview with an individual with the given name Rex.
In 2010, as a complement to his annual show entitled The Smack-Off (which features the best callers on the show), Rome instituted The Hack-Off (which features the worst callers on the show). It was typically held a week before The Smack-Off, with the winner earning an automatic entry into that event. It was initially referred to as the "Eddie in Boise Invitational". Some of the more popular callers included Vinnie Mac, Matt in Cleveland (aka Tarzan), Eddie in Boise, Ryan in Wichita, Ray Ray in Tampa, Jolene in Farmington, and Jason (the star-linebacker) in Ottawa. It is still unclear if the winner of the event was the "worst of the worst" or the "best of the worst". Much to everyone's disappointment, Rome decided to kill The Hack-off after the 2013 event. Despite the efforts of numerous clones, Rome has maintained his stance that the event is dead.
In 2016, a week before the Smack-Off, show producer and that day's guest host Kyle Brandt (KB) attempted to resurrect the Hack-Off, with a "zombie" version he dubbed "The Walking Dead Hack-Off". However, KB did not have the power to give the winner a spot in the Smack-Off. This, combined with a lack of promotion, led to very limited participation, with none of the well known veterans returning. No winner was declared. This disappointing turn-out, combined with KB leaving the show a couple months later, may be the final nail in the Hack-Off coffin.
The Smack-Off is an annual competition on the show. It differs from every other show during the year in that there are no scheduled guests or takes from Rome. The entire show features the best callers on the show and serves as a way of determining the best caller in a given year. The event is invite only.
Callers may qualify in a number of ways:
However, making a bad call could lose someone their invitation. Also, receiving an invite does not guarantee the caller will be able to get on the air.
The Smack-Off is known as the most important day of the year in The Jungle. It is typically held in spring or early summer and is always on a Friday. It has been held annually since 1995. In addition to receiving the prestige of being the best caller in that given year, recent winners have also received a prize package. The 2015 and 2016 winner received a $5,000 grand prize.
While receiving input from the listeners, the winner is picked solely by the XR4TI and is announced in the last segment of the show. There is no strict time limit, but Rome will run a caller if they start rambling too long. The winning criteria is subjective, as there are no set rules or criteria. However, the winning call is typically the person who comes up with some original smack for the other top callers, mixes in some sports takes, and brings something new to the event.
At length he announces when he is going to be "in the basement" (on vacation) and for how long. He justifies his frequent absences to the Clones by proclaiming, "I take a lot of vacation because I get a lot of vacation" (a parody of a comment made by Patrick Ewing during the 1998 NBA lockout). To ensure live content on days when Rome is absent, The Jim Rome Show is hosted by a rotating stable of guest hosts, including:
Former guest hosts of the show include:
On holidays, the show airs "The Best of the Jim Rome Show", a retrospective episode of memorable interviews and segments.
Future of the show
Since its inception, The Jim Rome Show has always been offered on terrestrial radio, and has not been offered on satellite radio. The show is, however, offered on streaming and podcast through the official web site. On May 6, 2003, Rome made a return to TV with Rome Is Burning (later Jim Rome Is Burning) on ESPN, and occasionally hinted about switching the radio program to satellite, or abandoning the radio program altogether, in favor of television full-time.
Rome is often quite vocal about his frequent displeasures with affiliates, specifically those who do not carry the entire three hours, air the show on tape delay, or frequently pre-empt the broadcast. Rome has openly admitted that he is intrigued by the idea of satellite radio and broadcasting the program free of affiliates' interference. However, he is also aware of some listeners' problems with paying for satellite radio, and has received numerous phone calls and e-mails from terrestrial radio listeners who have said that the humor of the show has brought them through difficult times or keeps them entertained at work.
On April 27, 2006, Rome stated that he will keep the radio program going, but initially made no commitment to satellite or terrestrial. On July 11, 2006, Rome announced that he signed a multi-year deal with Premiere Radio Networks to keep the show on terrestrial radio. In addition, he stated that the show may be simulcast on satellite radio in the future. Clear Channel provides content exclusively to XM Satellite Radio, including the entire Fox Sports Radio network.
In January 2013, the show moved to the CBS Sports Radio network.