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Boardroom is a sports, media and entertainment brand co-founded by Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman and focused on the intersection of sports and entertainment. Boardroom’s flagship media arm features premium video/audio, editorial, daily and weekly newsletters, showcasing how athletes, executives, musicians and creators are moving the business world forward. Boardroom’s ecosystem encompasses B2B events and experiences (such as its renowned NBA and WNBA All-Star events) as well as ticketed conferences such as Game Plan in partnership with CNBC. Our advisory arm serves to consult and connect athletes, brands and executives with our broader network and initiatives.

Recent film and TV projects also under the Boardroom umbrella include the Academy Award-winning Two Distant Strangers (Netflix), the critically acclaimed scripted series SWAGGER (Apple TV+) and Emmy-nominated documentary NYC Point Gods (Showtime).

Boardroom’s sister company, Boardroom Sports Holdings, features investments in emerging sports teams and leagues, including the Major League Pickleball team, the Brooklyn Aces, NWSL champions Gotham FC, and MLS’ Philadelphia Union.

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Taylor Rooks is Just Getting Started

Last Updated: June 4, 2024
In the latest episode of Boardroom Talks, Rich Kleiman sits down with Taylor Rooks to discuss how she’s accomplished her media dreams with an appetite for more.

Taylor Rooks has accomplished much in her industry. But even so, she is continuously defining and redefining what that space actually is.

“I have felt at different points in time being put into a box,” Rooks told Rich Kleiman in the latest episode of Boardroom Talks. “And I knew the only way to get out of that box was to almost force myself out of it.”

Throughout her career, the Emmy-nominated personality has appeared on screens for companies like CBS, NBC, and Bleacher Report, honing her skills and perfecting her craft as an interviewer. Rooks has chopped it up with not only just some of your favorite hoopers, like Nikola Jokić, Kevin Durant, and Charles Barkley, but also some of the biggest names around the world, such as former President Barack Obama.

“When you’re mapping out your career, you should do all the things you are capable of doing. … If I can also do things in entertainment, why wouldn’t I just because someone thinks I only work in sports? If I can interview a politician and a football player and an NBA player and an exec and a coach, why can’t I also do that?” Rooks said. “Not only do I feel like I want to be able to do all the things that I can, I feel like, at this point, I have. I’ve tried to prove that with every step that I’ve taken in my career.”

From learning about her interviewing inspirations to the discourse surrounding women’s sports, Rooks gets into it all with Boardroom.

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Women Supporting Women

Sports media can be grueling, and despite the recent successes made by Rooks and many others, it’s even more so for women in the landscape. One might think that in order to get to the top, one needs to be cutthroat on the way there, but Rooks said that simply isn’t the case.

“I think it’s a misconception that women don’t support women in this space because it is such a unique experience to be a woman in sports and because it’s a unique experience, it can at times feel very isolating and the only way to get out of that feeling, to not feel as though you are alone, is to be in real fellowship and communication with other people that understand it.”

“There is nobody who understands what it’s like to be a woman in sports except for women in sports, so we really need each other.”

In just one example that shows she can branch outside the box of sports media while also supporting women in the industry, Rooks recently started a new show with Joy Taylor titled “Two Personal.”

Howard Stern, Oprah & More Inspirations

If you ask Rooks, Howard Stern may be the biggest name in the world of interviewing.

“He’s very shock jockey, but he’s the best. You sit in that chair, you know he’s going to get something out of you. Something that you’ve never heard. Something might be a bit salacious, but still incredibly entertaining. He’s not afraid to ask anything, good or bad.”

But Stern isn’t the only interviewer Rooks admires. She’s also drawn inspiration from Oprah and Terry Gross, the latter of who Rooks says is a master at follow-up questions, the “most underrated part of interviewing.”

Work to Be Done in Women’s Sports

Women’s sports is having a moment, but there’s still much work to be done.

In this episode of Boardroom Talks, Kleiman tells Rooks a story involving New York Liberty star Sabrina Ionescu while she was still fresh upon entering the WNBA. There was massive hype surrounding Sabrina while making the jump, leading to much-deserved public praise from some. However, there’s still a learning curve that needs to take place for things to get closer to even ground with NBA counterparts.

“Everybody is aware there are eyeballs on women’s sports, but the need to go educate yourself on the sport — the differences in the sport, who these women are, what their stories are, what the stakes are — is important,” Kleiman said.

People Want Rooks Around

Being as popular as she is, Rooks is no stranger to the chatter that can surround a media star. Some may ask just how she’s gotten to the point she’s at or why famous folks find it so easy to open up to her in interviews, to which there’s a myriad of answers.

A pointed dedication, a tireless work ethic, and simple natural talent are just a few reasons why Rooks has made it to this point, but one thing she has worked hard at obtaining is being viewed as a peer among those she interacts with.

In this episode, Rooks highlights the work of longtime sports broadcaster Ahmad Rashad and how he “was their peer, he was somebody they wanted to be around.” While there are men who may boast a similar status in today’s media world, Rooks astutely points out there are instances in which the only commonality between an interviewer and subject is that they are both men.

“So, what does that mean for women? Am I supposed to not be able to enter into those same sorts of spaces and build those exact same kinds of relationships just because I’m not a man? That doesn’t make sense to me,” Rooks said.

“I did not want the fact that I wasn’t a man to stop me from doing that. … You’re battling what you want to do versus what people expect of you. And the thing people expect of me is much less than what I expect of myself. It’s still a limit.”

Be sure to check out the full episode of Boardroom Talks with Taylor Rooks here.

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Boardroom Staff