ESPN‘s Jemele Hill requested a trade. Hill asked to released from her role as co-host on SportsCenter AKA The Six with Michael Smith. ESPN said yes, and now Hill will be working on more journalistic endeavors with The Undefeated, the networks site on culture, politics and race.
Here is ESPN’s statement on the change:
“There is an old adage that says, the heart wants what it wants,” said Hill. “I started at ESPN 11 years ago as a columnist and while I have worn many hats in the time since, my true love always has been writing, reporting and commentary. While I have grown in every way imaginable this last year on the 6 p.m. SportsCenter, deep down I knew it wasn’t my calling. I approached (ESPN Executive Vice President, Content) Connor Schell recently and asked if they would consider re-thinking my role. And as has been the case throughout my 11 years at this company, ESPN graciously worked with me to determine the best way for me to continue to do meaningful work.
“My first choice was to work with The Undefeated, a site that covers the intersection of race, African-American culture and sports in creative and compelling ways,” she said. “I admire, trust and have unconditional respect for (ESPN Senior Vice President & Editor-in-Chief) Kevin Merida and The Undefeated staff. I have no doubt we will create amazing content together. I’m also thankful to Connor for not only hearing my request, but being immensely supportive throughout this process. I have longed for some time to return to my roots, so to speak. I’m ecstatic to be in such a supportive environment to explore the next phase in my career.
“The telecast continues to evolve as our primary mission is serving sports fans no matter the time of day,” Williamson said. “We have clearly learned that viewers expect the most comprehensive news coverage and compelling analysis during the 6 p.m. hour. Michael Smith is an experienced journalist and seasoned commentator and I’m confident that his talents can help us achieve our objectives as we move forward.”
Smith added: “Jemele and I created something special, and I will always be proud of her and our work together. She will continue to do amazing things here at ESPN. I am honored to be part of the next iteration of American sports television’s signature brand — SportsCenter.”
The magic from His & Hers didn’t carry over to SC6 which was launched in February of 2017. Smith and Hill never recaptured that same groove – and this was before the drama that took place in September of 2017 with Hill’s Twitter comments on Trump and suggesting that fans boycott the Dallas Cowboys. Everything that sounds good, isn’t always the best thing for you. Nothing wrong with trying something and then moving on. Experience is the best teacher.
Hill’s last day on SportsCenter will be Friday, February 2. She released her own statement on Twitter and Instagram to answer the whispers as to if this was a demotion because she was bad for business.
Head over to the next page to hear her thoughts.