The radio host says it was no doubt a “huge demotion.”
Jemele Hill will no longer be hosting the 6 p.m. E.T. SportsCenter on ESPN. The Worldwide Leader announced at the end of last week that Hill’s last show will be this Friday.
The decision, according to Hill and ESPN, was hers. She says she was growing tired of the role and felt she’d be better utilized elsewhere.
Hill addressed some of the rumors on Twitter. “While I am amused by the rumors that I was demoted, kicked off the 6pm SportsCenter or whatever else can be conjured, the truth is pretty simple and not nearly as dramatic.”
Noted ESPN critic Clay Travis says the truth is a little different. He says it’s clearly a “huge demotion.”
Just like with Bomani Jones, who had the least successful national radio show in ESPN history, ESPN claimed that Jemele asked out of her TV job, but come on, that’s not true. She left TV to write for a blog that no one reads on ESPN’s website and do some town halls that no one will watch either?
The truth is this: her show was a ratings disaster and she painted herself into a corner by calling the president a white supremacist on Twitter. Which further killed the ratings and made her radioactive on a sports network for advertisers who didn’t want to be connected to a personality who was guaranteed to alienate at least half of a sports audience.
Make no mistake about it, this was a huge demotion.
The Big Lead had a longer piece on what went wrong with Hill and the 6 p.m. SportsCenter. It’s reportedly been an issue for a while.
For months, there have been murmurs — reliable, but not quite verifiable for print — of turmoil behind the scenes of the show, not necessarily with each other, but with the producers in Bristol charged with adjusting the show from being personality-driven to a much more traditional news-and-highlights SportsCenter.
Undeniably, these issues have bubbled to the forefront more over the past few months in the wake of Jemele Hill’s position as a national news subject after calling President Trump a white supremacist, and later remarking that a boycott of Cowboys sponsors – several of whom overlapped with ESPN – would be effective. However, there were creative concerns with the show immediately.
Hill will be moving to Washington to write and report for ESPN’s The Undefeated. Her career will certainly be interesting to follow moving forward.