The man with the best facial expressions in sports television, Bomani Jones, is reportedly moving to ESPN for full time work. After various radio stints, appearances on ESPN programs like Around the Horn, Dan Le Batard is Highly Questionable, and Outside the Lines, as well as a spell at SB Nation, Jones will settle in at Bristol on a permanent basis.
And, as Steve Lepore from SB Nation reports, ESPN had to win a bidding war with Fox to keep Jones on its network airwaves:
"The latest bidding war between ESPN and the upstart Fox Sports 1 has gone to the Worldwide Leader. Bomani Jones has signed with ESPN in a four-year deal finalized on Thursday, according to sources close to the situation.
His deal with ESPN will include all media, including online, radio, and television. His exact role at the network is undetermined, but continued work with Le Batard's show in Miami and further appearances on ATH seem likely bets for the present."
With Fox Sports One now firmly in the picture and announcing talent acquisitions of their own, this will be far from the last time we see the two companies competing for personalities. We've seen Bristol be willing to let talent walk to Fox or NBC or Turner in several cases before, but this is a great move by ESPN. I would call Bomani Jones a "rising star" in the sports media, but he's been a presence on so many outlets for so long and has such an established following I'm not sure that's the most adept label anymore. It's good to see Jones land a full-time gig at ESPN though because he brings such a unique, intelligent perspective on many issues. Whether it's writing on ESPN.com, radio, or television, ESPN would be wise to invest more in The Morning, Evening, or Afternoon Jones moving forward.