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Sports reporter, columnist, commentator and TV host Jemele Hill will officially depart ESPN, effective September 1, according to media journalist Jim Miller.
After several years as a sportswriter for the Detroit Free Press and Orlando Sentinel, Hill was hired by ESPN in 2006. In 2013, she would join fellow ESPN personality Michael Smith on the daytime ESPN2 talk show “Numbers Never Lie” which would then be retitled “His and Hers”.
On February 6, 2017, Hill and Smith would officially transition their on-air afternoon pairing from ESPN2 to hosting the 6 p.m. edition of “SportsCenter” on ESPN in a much-ballyhooed attempt to increase its ratings and to capitalize on ESPN’s trend at the time to personalize their flagship program, as they had successfully done with Scott Van Pelt in late night. However, Hill and Smith’s discussion-style format for “SportsCenter” wasn’t kindly accepted by the audience at-large, and was much fodder for negative feedback on social media.
The spotlight on Hill was at its height when on Twitter, in the aftermath of the Charlottesville protests in the summer of 2017, she had labeled Donald Trump as a “white supremacist.” A month later, Hill would receive a two-week suspension from ESPN after tweeting for a boycott of the Dallas Cowboys’ advertisers as a response to its owner Jerry Jones claiming to bench any of his players if they were disrespectful to the American flag.
Hill would exit “SportsCenter” in February 2018 (her former co-host Smith would exit soon after) but remained at ESPN as a columnist for their website The Undefeated. She also was a part-time commentator on programs like “Around the Horn” and “Highly Questionable”.
Jim Miller reported that Hill recently met with current ESPN president James Pitaro to arrange an amicable departure and buyout from the network.
Hill and journalist Kelley Carter currently have a production company called Lodge Freeway Media.