Bomani Jones

Despite a reported pursuit from Fox, Bomani Jones is going to be sticking around ESPN. The Worldwide Leader announced Wednesday that they’ve signed Jones to a multi-year extension which will see him continue his The Right Time ESPN Radio show and his work on Highly Questionable. Beyond that, their release says “Additional projects featuring Jones will be developed,” so expect to see more of him in the future.

SI’s Richard Deitsch tweeted that this decision comes after Fox tried to land Jones for both radio and TV work:

Morning drive, eh? That would be interesting, as the main morning drive slot (6-9 a.m. Eastern) on Fox Sports Radio is currently held by sometime-Jones antagonist Clay Travis.

It also would be interesting to learn what the TV plans for Jones at Fox were; the FS1 daytime programming currently is two and a half hours of Undisputed, three hours of The Herd, two and a half hours rerunning Undisputed, and then an hour of Speak For Yourself, so there aren’t a lot of natural spots to put Jones in. As Deitsch mentions, too, Jones at Fox might have been a pretty odd fit, given how different his approach and his stances are from most of their prominent personalities.

Instead, Jones is sticking around ESPN in his current roles, and it certainly sounds like there will be more for him to do in the future. Michael McCarthy of The Sporting News did report back in October that ESPN was considering a new studio show with Jones and Pablo Torre, and that idea might still come to pass. Or we might see Jones wind up in another kind of TV format.

Either way, the “additional projects” line certainly suggests ESPN wants to find more ways to utilize him in the future. The quotes in their release seem to suggest that too:

“I’m really happy to continue my relationship with ESPN,” said Jones. “I’ve spent the last three-and-a-half years working with some of the best and brightest people in sports, and it’s great to know that will continue. More than that, I’m excited about everything that will be possible in the next few years on television and continuing to build The Right Time on ESPN Radio.”

Traug Keller, senior vice president, ESPN business divisions, added, “Bomani Jones is so much more than another sports radio and television host. He brings a depth and perspective to the conversation that is singularly unique. It is a privilege to announce we are extending and building our relationship with Bomani.”

It’s also notable to see ESPN retain someone who was pursued by Fox, as in an era of cost-cutting, they’ve let many big names walk and focused on keeping valuable but less-prominent talent. That suggests they see Jones as a key contributor going forward, and it will be interesting to see what they do with him.

[ESPN Media Zone]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.

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