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Michael Smith: ESPN Hit "Panic Button" On SportsCenter

This is where the hosts of Sports Center sit.

Michael Smith addresses SportCenter's woes.

Two weeks ago we learned Jemele Hill would no longer co-host the 6 p.m. ET edition of SportsCenter alongside Michael Smith. Hill left to join The Undefeated, an ESPN microsite that blends sports and culture.

She will also work on other assignments in addition to her role with The Undefeated. Just recently she made a guest appearance on ESPN's Around the Horn.

Meanwhile, her co-host, Michael Smith, has been holding down the fort at SC6. Smith recently appeared on James Andrew Miller's latest Origins podcast, and talked about ESPN changing the vision of "SC6."

Smith mentioned one of the main reasons he and Hill joined the show was thanks to their chemistry on His & Hers. However, once they took over the 6 p.m. ET edition, that all changed.

"There was a time we weren’t even talking to each other [on air] anymore. 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–king talk to each other? How does that make sense?"

Although Jemele had her own reasons for leaving the show, Smith also appears to be frustrated. He cited ESPN's lack of respect for the vision he and Jemele saw for the show, which including their dialogue on set.

"It was very frustrating behind the scenes and on camera. … They got what they wanted, which was Michael and Jemele being muted. And that frustrated the s–t out of us."

In the end, Jill moved on to The Undefeated, and Smith now hosts the show alone. However, a change to the lineup could come at any time.

[Sports Illustrated]