Jemele HillLatest News and Opinion
Posted Thursday 2/08/18 at 6:30PM EST
SportsCenter’s Michael Smith calls out ESPN for silencing Jemele Hill
Smith, who as of this week hosts the SC6 version of SportsCenter by himself without Hill, says he didn’t especially like that ESPN steered away from mining the chemistry between him and Hill. “There was a time we weren’t even talking to each other (on air) anymore,” he explained on James Andrew Miller’s Origins podcast. “Like no more Michael and Jemele, not less, not here and there. No more Michael and Jemele talking. No more of their commentary. It’s just strictly live shots and analysts. That’s what pissed me off so much. I’m like, so wait a second, you all acknowledge that one of the strengths that we have going for us as a show is Michael and Jemele’s chemistry, but Michael and Jemele don’t f*cking talk to each other? How does that make sense?”
Posted Sunday 1/28/18 at 3:52AM EST
Jemele Hill: SportsCenter “really wasn’t my calling” because my previous work at ESPN involved commentary
“The function of SportsCenter is not necessarily built for anchor commentary,” she tells Variety. “So much of my career at ESPN – almost exclusively at some points – has been in commentary.” She adds: “They hired me as a columnist. I’ve been giving my opinion since day one.”
Posted Friday 1/26/18 at 11:08PM EST
Why ESPN’s Jemele Hill-Michael Smith SC6 experiment with SportsCenter was never going to work
Even without Hill’s President Trump controversy, it was clear from the get-go that the SC6 experiment wasn’t going to work, says Ryan Glasspiegel, who likens SportsCenter to an ocean tanker. “They were joining the legacy SportsCenter brand and the show immediately felt disjointed trying to blend the styles of where everyone and everything came from,” he says. “This was exacerbated by the fact that different demographics watch daytime television than at 6 pm — and yes, there was a certain sect of viewers who were never going to give Mike and Jemele a chance.”
Posted Friday 1/26/18 at 5:56PM EST
Jemele Hill is “amused by the rumors that I was demoted,” says “I asked” to leave SportsCenter
The ESPN anchor posted a statement on Twitter saying, “the truth is pretty simple and not nearly as dramatic. I asked to leave the show — some of y’all probably need to read that sentence again — because of a strong desire to return to reporting, writing, and commentary.” She added that she considers herself “lucky” to have worked as a SportsCenter anchor. ALSO: An ESPN exec says Hill first initiated talks about her SC6 exit before Christmas.
Posted Friday 1/26/18 at 1:32PM EST
Jemele Hill is leaving SportsCenter to join ESPN’s The Undefeated
According to Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch, Hill personally requested the move to ESPN’s vertical on race and culture. “People I trust at ESPN, people who have dealt me straight for years, tell me Jemele Hill asked for the switch,” Deitsch tweeted. “You’ll no doubt hear otherwise. Up to readers to believe who they trust.” Hill’s last day on SportsCenter’s SC6 will be one week from today, almost one year to date that SC6 launched. The move follows Hill's controversial comments accusing President Trump of being a white supremacist.
Posted Monday 12/18/17 at 5:56PM EST
John Skipper’s ESPN departure comes at a crucial time for the sports network
The former ESPN president had a lot of issues on his plate recently, from cord-cutting to mass layoffs to sports rights fees to the social media use of its stars to dealing with the Disney-21st Century Fox merger. And last week, ESPN was hit with allegations of sexism and sexual harassment in a Boston Globe exposé. “We’ve seen a bunch of big-deal media executives start to head for the exits recently, but this one is different: ESPN is both one of the most important properties in the media world and one whose clout and importance — once unquestioned — is very much up for debate,” says Peter Kafka. “But Skipper, who had re-signed a deal this year that was supposed to keep him at ESPN through 2021, presumably felt he could make a go of it.”
- It’s fair to be skeptical of Skipper’s abrupt resignation since he signed a three-year extension just last month
- Barstool Sports boss pops champagne over Skipper’s exit: “It is a huge victory for us, I love watching my enemies go down”
- Jemele Hill, Keith Olbermann and other current and former ESPN-ers react to Skipper’s resignation
Posted Friday 11/03/17 at 1:59PM EDT
ESPN’s new social media policy tells employees to not “embroil the company in unwanted controversy”
“Do nothing that would undercut your colleagues’ work or embroil the company in unwanted controversy,” reads the new guidelines that come weeks after Jemele Hill’s suspension for embroiling the company in unwanted controversy.
Posted Monday 10/23/17 at 7:10AM EDT
Jemele Hill returns to ESPN Monday, says she deserved her two-week suspension
“I put ESPN in a bad spot,’ the SportsCenter anchor told TMZ in an impromptu conversation.
Posted Friday 10/13/17 at 11:28PM EDT
Bill Simmons on Jemele Hill's suspension: “ESPN has contradicted itself way too many times”
Simmons, the former ESPN personality whom the sports network has also suspended (multiple times), says the sports network has been trying to “stick with sports” while doing everything to undermine sticking to sports, including buying a site like Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight politics-themed website. “Here’s where the dual personalities of ESPN blossomed into full view,” says Simmons. “On the one hand, it’s the company that funded Ezra Edelman’s staggering vision for O.J.: Made in America, turned over a high-profile SportsCenter block to Jemele and Michael Smith, spent God knows how much on the Undefeated, throws a lavish espnW summit every fall, and does whatever else you’d want to stick in this paragraph. On the other hand, it’s the company that found itself paralyzed when Jemele tweeted that Trump was ‘a white supremacist.’ Uh-oh. Now what?” ALSO: ESPN historian is working on a podcast series on social media at ESPN.
Posted Thursday 10/12/17 at 2:11PM EDT
ESPN’s Jemele Hill will continue to be paid during her two-week suspension
ESPN oral history author James Andrew Miller tweeted that Hill's suspension is with pay.
Posted Wednesday 10/11/17 at 2:10PM EDT
Jemele Hill’s SC6 is actually up in key demo
President Trump tweeted Tuesday morning that ESPN’s ratings have tanked with Hill. But the 6 p.m. SportsCenter she co-hosts with Michael Smith is actually up slightly in the key 25-54 demographic, with 233,000 viewers vs. 231,000 last year. SC6, however, is down 2,000 audience members in total viewers.
Posted Tuesday 10/10/17 at 5:55PM EDT
Michael Smith will anchor ESPN’s 6 p.m. SportsCenter alone during Jemele Hill's suspension
Smith will go solo for the first time since SC6, as the flagship 6 p.m. SportsCenter is called, was re-launched in February. Meanwhile, Hill tweeted to her co-anchor this afternoon: “I love you @michaelsmith for being my biggest supporter, a great friend, terrific husband & father. I truly don't deserve you. See you soon.”
- ESPN’s Dan Le Batard: “This is great for the career of Jemele Hill, it’s just not great for ESPN”
Why ESPN’s explanation for Hill’s suspension was disingenuous — she was fed to the wolves
Posted Tuesday 10/10/17 at 1:25PM EDT
President Trump sends an early morning tweet attacking Jemele Hill and blaming her for ESPN’s ratings woes
“With Jemele Hill at the mike, it is no wonder ESPN ratings have ‘tanked,’ in fact, tanked so badly it is the talk of the industry!” the President tweeted, misspelling the word “mic.” Besides going after the suspended ESPN anchor, Trump also questioned the NFL’s “massive tax breaks while at the same time disrespecting our Anthem, Flag and Country.” The NFL, though, gave up its tax exempt status in 2015.
Posted Monday 10/09/17 at 10:47PM EDT
Jemele Hill’s SportsCenter co-host, Michael Smith, opts to sit out tonight’s show
When ESPN allegedly tried to keep Hill off the air last month after the White House reacted to her Trump white supremacy comments, Smith reportedly refused to go on air without her. After today’s suspension, there was a “mutual” agreement that Smith would also not work tonight’s show. ALSO: Why Jemele Hill is a “bad fit at This ESPN.”
Posted Monday 10/09/17 at 3:47PM EDT
ESPN suspends Jemele Hill for two weeks after she suggested fans boycott Dallas Cowboys sponsors
The SportsCenter anchor was given a warning after tweeting last month that Donald Trump is a white supremacist. This time, Hill has been suspended for suggesting on Twitter that fans unhappy with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones’ decision to punish any player who disrespects the American flag should boycott the team’s sponsors.