Could Jemele Hill be spending her final days at ESPN?
According to new reports, the sports anchor is expected to leave the network in September.
ESPN declined to make executives available for comment. Hill, contacted via text message, referred an inquiry to her manager, Evan Dick, who could not be reached for immediate comment. Her coming departure was previously reported by author and journalist James Andrew Miller, on Twitter. Hill is believed to have met recently with new ESPN President James Pitaro to discuss her exit from the Walt Disney-controlled sports-media outlet.
Her departure comes after Pitaro has emphasized ESPN’s role as an apolitical chronicler of the sports world. At a meeting with reporters earlier this month, the executive emphasized that ESPN’s role is to cover sports news without any particular political bias. While ESPN reporters can certainly cover the ways in which sports intersect with politics, he said, he would prefer that the company’s journalists and commentators not offer their own opinions on political matters.
Hill had been working for ESPN’s “The Undefeated,” a hub for journalism about sports, culture and race. She moved to that part of the company after leaving a 6 p.m. broadcast of “Sports Center” that was originally mean to emphasize the kind of commentary that brought her and her co-host, Michael Smith, broader recognition when they hosted a podcast and TV show focused on their debates about sports news and culture. Hill was also supposed to contribute to a number of programs on the network: documentaries the “E:60” newsmagazine, and,even a revived version of the “His & Hers” podcast she started with Smith.
In a recent interview with Detroit Metro Times, Hill expressed a desire to get more involved in production. “I know that whenever I kick off the next iteration of my career, it will involve me getting more deeply involved in producing original content,” she said. There are avenues opening up for women of color to provide different perspectives that’s something we really wanted to take a hard look at.”
If we’re keeping it real, she’s too good for that network anyway — especially after that Twitter controversy.