Tuesday night, sports radio host Jim Rome trended on Twitter after The Athletic tweeted out a photo of the highest-paid sports broadcasters. The photo listed Rome at $30 million a year. That number stunned and angered users of all kinds.
The reaction was telling for two reasons:
First, Twitter acted as if Rome is some random, C-level broadcaster who maintains his job because he has photos of someone important. Such people are clueless about his impact. On the Mount Rushmore of sports talk, Rome’s face would be engraved first. Rome nationalized sports radio. He’s the godfather of sports talk.
So there’s that.
Second, Jim Rome does not make $30 million a year, multiple sources confirmed to OutKick. That number comes from a 2012 report from an ESPN author.
Btw, Jim Rome does TV mostly for exposure. Yearly income from the radio show alone is around $30 million.
— james andrew miller (@JimMiller) January 6, 2012
Perhaps Rome made $30 million a year 10 years ago, or maybe he did not. Either way, much has changed since that tweet.
In fact, Rome’s radio show that airs on CBS Sports Radio and CBS Sports Network likely doesn’t even generate $30 million as a whole.
That’s hardly a knock on Rome. He’s gifted. He may still be the most talented broadcaster in sports media. However, he’s not the revenue generator that he once was, even if his reach is still more significant than Twitter realizes.
Moreover, the only sports radio host even close to $30 million a year right now is Pat McAfee, who’s earning close to that because of a sponsorship deal with FanDuel.
So we ought to shun anyone tweeting that Jim Rome is the Kirk Cousins of sports media. He’s not. And he’s not making three times Stephen A. Smith either.