By Jake Brown
It’s time to give a warm welcome to the newest member of the CBS Sports Radio family, Bill Reiter. ‘Reiter Than You’ begins Monday April 17th on the CBS Sports Radio network from 6-10pm ET. Reiter has been hosting ‘Reiter Than You’ digitally in video form on CBSSports.com since last year.
The sports media personality now takes it to CBS Sports Radio every Monday-Friday evening. He’ll move from coast-to-coast as he lives Los Angeles for New York City. I spoke 1-on-1 with Reiter to find out more about the newest host.
JB: Tell us about your background and what you’re bringing to CBS Sports Radio.
BR: Really excited and thrilled. I’m one of those kids that lived all over the country. I actually lived in several of the cities that are affiliates for CBS Sports Radio, so that’s a good fit. I’m from Dubuque, Iowa. My wife is from Lima, Ohio. I went to the University of Missouri to study journalism…was a newspaper sports reporter in Kansas City, Missouri. Moved on to be a national columnist covering LeBron James and calling him a bum for about a year, his first year in Miami. I’ve been doing television and radio in Los Angeles for the last five years. Was previously at one of our competitors on the radio side and have lived in L.A. with my wife, my two kids for a while. Love it here, but really excited, not just about the job and working at CBS Sports Radio, but getting to New York City and take in that east coast lifestyle.
JB: Who made the name ‘Reiter Than You?’ Grammatically it’s wrong, but it’s funny, it works.
BR: It is grammatically wrong. Like all people that are on mic, I have a somewhat healthy self-esteem, but not so much so that I would ever suggest the name Reiter Than You for a show. I have a digital television show, a streaming show at CBS Sports. They actually came up with the name about a year ago. They thought it was funny. Can’t tell if they thought it was ironic. That’s where it came from. The bosses there liked the name and decided to adopt it. “Reiter Than You” has taken on a life of its own. I love it, but it was not my idea.
JB: What does your show bring to the table and how will it be unique to the CBS Sports Radio brand?
BR: I think CBS Sports Radio has by far the most dynamic lineup nationally and locally across the country. I have incredible colleagues. Like all good radio, it will reflect my personality. It’s going to be incredibly authentic. We’re not going to takes ourselves are myself too seriously, the name of the show not withstanding. We’re going to be candid and we’re going to be unafraid to call things like we see them. When LeBron James throws people under the bus, we’re going to point out that the Cleveland Cavaliers are his construction. He needs to be quiet and play basketball and own his mistakes as the worst GM in basketball wound up being the best player on the face of the earth. When Jay Cutler shows up in Chicago, and thank god he’s gone, and it turns out he’s an absolute bum, we’re going to say that. We’re going to go at people, and we’re going to be fearless in calling things the way that we see them. We’re also going to have fun and we’re going to be light. It’s going to be a four hour conversation that we’re going to have with the folks who are gracious enough to spend some of their time with us. I think it’s going to be very different than what a lot of other national radio shows are. My background is as a writer and a reporter, before television and before radio, so I’m going to come every day very well-informed, and have visited with executives and players all throughout the day, and I’m going to bring an opinion that is strong, but that is going to be based on what’s actually going on behind the scenes in sports.
JB: What teams are you a fan of, or did you put your fanhood behind you?
BR: So that’s a great question because as you know as you get into sports media, it does sort of curdle your perspective on certain teams. I have held onto my fandom in two very limited cases. I went to the University of Missouri, and even though their basketball team and really the athletic department has been more or less a dumpster fire since they joined the SEC. I am a huge Mizzou fan and I could not be more excited about Cuonzo Martin, at least for the foreseeable future, Michael Porter Jr. I am still a huge Mizzou fan. I grew up in Chicago and Iowa, kind of back and forth with my family. I was a huge Chicago fan growing up. Gave up on the Bears as I covered the NFL, in terms of my emotional connection. I gave up on the Bulls as I became an NBA guy. I’m still a Cubs fan. I’m not too proud to admit I was at the World Series. We’ll be broadcasting from most major events this year as I’ll be there for both radio and the digital show, was in Cleveland when the Cubs completed that comeback, did my job, drank a bunch of beer, and at the airport at seven in the morning, I’m not too proud to admit, got very emotional that the Cubs won that World Series. I’m a huge and formerly long-suffering Cubs fan. I was at the Bartman game as a fan and I’m still trying to get my arms around this weird feeling of hope and joy when it comes to being a sports fan. It’s very new to me.
I’ve gotten to know a lot of people. You see behind the scenes. Bill Self, for example, is one of the great guys in sports and I love the guy. That means I root for Kansas in March Madness and I have friends from Mizzou who will not speak to me during March and April, if Kansas advances, because I root for Kansas even though they are the enemy to my school, because I like Bill Self. I am a huge fan of Erik Spoelstra down in Miami and I’m bummed for him that they just got eliminated. I actually enjoy seeing the Heat do well, because I think he’s good people. I’ll be candid on the other side. Chris Paul is a dynamic and remarkable point guard, but in my interactions with him, he has not been a nice guy. I’ve seen him treat people poorly. He and I have had interactions that aren’t pleasant and if not taking pleasure in watching the Clippers lose, I certainly feel bad for them when they flame out year after year in the playoffs and don’t perform as well as they should. Outside of the Cubs and Missouri, I’m rooting for the storylines and people I have gotten to know, depending on how they have treated me and treated the people around them.
JB: Outside of sports, what are your interests – movies, music, etc.?
BR: Music runs the gamut from Bob Seger to Yeezy and everything in between, other than country music, I have a very eclectic taste. I love to eat food. You can give me BBQ or dive bar burgers or high-end food and sit there and eat as much as possible. I’m very much into bourbon. I love to read. I’m an avid very poor athlete. I play golf, I play tennis, basketball, I used to play baseball and softball, until I realized I’m too old. I’m a parent. I’m a dad of a 7-year-old girl and a 4-year-old, soon to be 5-year-old little boy. Parenting takes a whole bunch of my time. I will admit that I’m somewhat addicted to modern television, whether it’s Homeland, which was awful this year, which I just finished, but I can’t stop watching, or watching The Wire again and again and again or Games of Thrones, you can often find me sitting in front of my laptop between shows catching up on what I think is a golden age of TV.
JB: Is there a single broadcaster or radio host that inspired you to get into the business?
BR: That’s a great question. I hate to exclude so many incredible people, but Jim Rome was widely broadcasted across all the places I lived. I moved a lot Jake when I was working my way up as a sportswriter and then as a broadcaster. I had the blessing really and it’s a miracle for a kid from Iowa that used to listen to Jim. Jim had me on his CBS Sports Network show when that was still on the air…has had me on his radio show and has been instrumental, and I won’t pretend to know Jim socially, but he has been instrumental in advancing my career just because he treats people and he treats writers so incredibly well. So that is a guy who has been an inspiration. I’m also a huge and have been for a long time, a huge Colin Cowherd fan. I actually live in his neighborhood in Los Angeles and he has been incredibly gracious with his time and his advice and his expertise. For me, the two guys that I spend a lot of my time listening to as a broadcaster and wanting to emulate, and not just in terms of their success, but their passion and dedication to the craft, were Rome and Colin, and both guys to different degrees. Rome, quite a bit. Rome, I was lucky enough to work with and they were kind enough to be very good to me as I tried to fashion a career. I would name those two guys and I’ve been lucky enough to see them do their thing up close.