No, Jim Rome Does Not Make $30 Million A Year

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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.

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.

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack is a writer for OutKick where he reports and analyzes the latest topics in media, culture, sports, and politics..

Burack has become a prominent voice in media and has been featured on several shows across OutKick and industry related podcasts and radio stations.


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  1. Jim Rome is still on-air somewhere ???? Who knew??? Really, I haven’t heard him or heard “Did you hear what Rome said today” in YEARS. No offense intended to Rome who is/was indeed one of the Founding Fathers of Sports Talk Radio / TV.
    I watched Mike&Mike for years before ESPN broke them up. I also watched Cowherd for a few years. I have NOT watched/listened to ANY Sports Talk in 7-8 years now. So I’m probably not a one-listener focus group for the genre.
    I found SportsTalk to be “like eating Pringles”. At some point you simply say “ENOUGH I don’t want another one.” Now I fish and listened to audiobooks.

  2. I don’t listen to sports radio either because I don’t care about sports per se. I’m a team fan and my teams are the Buckeyes in college football, the Browns in the NFL, the Indians in baseball, and the Blue Jackets in hockey. Since the latter three usually are anywhere from average to terrible, I don’t waste the time to follow the leagues they’re in.

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