ESPN was facing a dilemma. Jemele Hill was an embarrassment to a company that almost never gets embarrassed by any kooky leftwinger. But they couldn’t just fire her because of the expected backlash from such a move and secondly because she is in her first year of a lucrative four year deal. Making it worse is the fact that ESPN subscribers are quitting the network en masse. Although they refuse to admit it, one of the biggest reasons they are bleeding subscribers is because of the blatant leftwing bent of the station. When you isolate 50% of your fan base it’s not a good thing.
Hill is best known for calling President Trump and every other white men white supremacists and looking like a clown.
The network then did the next best thing, they demoted her. They removed her from the formerly popular Sports Center and giving her a show of her own which will be called ESPN SJW TV or something similar. The show will be broadcast at 6:00 PM when many sports fans are busy with dinner. They can use her reruns in the early morning hours as fillers when viewership is already low. They will throw in her show rather than broadcast two white guys boxing. That way there isn’t much drop off in the quality of programming.
Sources tell THR that Hill’s last day on SC6 will be Friday, Feb. 2, two days before the Super Bowl. Michael Smith will host the program on his own, as he did when Hill was suspended last October for her NFL tweets.
She will remain at ESPN, where she is one year into a lucrative four-year deal. She’ll become chief correspondent and senior columnist for The Undefeated, the ESPN vertical dedicated to race, culture and sport. She will do occasional pieces for E:60 and will provide commentary for programs including SportsCenter, Outside the Lines, Around the Horn, Highly Questionable, Pardon the Interruption and various radio programs and podcasts.
She’ll also host issues-based town halls and she’ll be free to do more field reporting and longer pieces, like her recent interview with Lynx forward Maya Moore. Hill also revealed recently that she has started a production company with friend and ESPN colleague Kelly Carter.
Hill’s friends are now saying the move was her choice but who would willingly leave a somewhat popular show to start one with limited viewers?