Well, well, well. The day is finally here. If you haven’t seen my Twitter feed yet, or don’t check the trades like we do here in LA, then this might be news to you: The Jungle—is going live—to television—in living color—on Tuesday, January 2nd.
Again—this radio show—the one we’ve been doing and building together for nearly three decades—will debut on television in just under three months.
This is an extremely exciting day. And one I’ve waited a long, long time for. You might say we’re late to the party. And I’d tell you this: I didn’t want to be at the party. Or more to the point, be the first one to that party. Consider me fashionably late. And I wanted to make sure that when I finally did roll this thing out for a televised simulcast, it was at the right time, with the right people, so we could do it the right away. And here we are. Here we freaking are.
So, I was waiting for the right time and the right team to do this with. And also remember this; for most of my career, I did this show, and then I did a daily TV show with it: dating back to my first TV gig, Talk 2 on ESPN II. Then the Last Word on Fox Sports Net, to Jim Rome is Burning on ESPN to ROME on the CBS Sports Network. And because I always had a daily TV show, I never had an interest in simulcasting this show. In fact, I liked it the way it was: we were working that theatre of the mind angle: there was a certain mystique to the show; and for a long time, I had no interest in letting you behind the curtain. But that changed. Everything changes. And you better change, adapt and evolve, or you’ll get rolled. So the time is right, I’m hyped for it and ready to roll.
Again, if I was going to roll out this rig that we’ve been tuning up since the 90’s, then you damn well better know, I was gonna roll it out proper. I had to have the right partner in this. Believe me: I didn’t just start thinking about a simulcast yesterday. We’ve talked about this for years. Literally years. But it never felt right. Because I never had the right partner.
That changed when CBS Sports Network entered the picture. Because they get it. They get me. They get you. They get the show. And it’s been their sole focus since day one on making sure we don’t comprise anything we’ve built on the radio when we bring this to TV. They didn’t approach me and say: Let’s do a TV show on the radio. In fact, they said the opposite. They’re all about this continuing to be a radio show—that just happens to be produced for television by the best professionals in the game.
So, the listening audience isn’t going to hear a different product. I’m not about to start doing things that only play visually. The Jungle will still be the Jungle. It’s just, now—if you want to see what it looks like—you can. We’re pulling the curtain back. And we’re going all in. In fact, we’re in the process of finishing a brand new studio and one that I can’t wait to get to and show you.
So get hyped. Because I’m freaking stoked. I’ve wanted to do this for a long time and it’s finally happening because the I’ve got the right people involved. So grab that Sharpie that you normally use to write down the date of the Smackoff—and put a big red circle around January, 2nd, 2018. Because the Jungle comes to life on CBS Sports Network in just 77 days.