Hill Out of Anchor Slot on ESPN’s ‘SportsCenter’

Jemele Hill, the ESPN anchor who was suspended last year after tweeting that President Trump was a “white supremacist,” will no longer anchor the 6 p.m. edition of SportsCenter.

ESPN said Hill will become chief correspondent and senior columnist for The Undefeated, ESPN’s website about sport and race. She will also be a commentator for the network.

Michael Smith, who has co-hosted SportsCenterwith Hill since last February, will continue as host of SportsCenter. Their last sportscast together will be on Feb. 2.

ESPN has come under criticism by conservatives who say the network's on-air talent is too liberal and too often reports on social issues along with sports. After Hill was suspended, the network's talent was given new guidelines about how to use social media.

Related: ESPN Suspends Anchor Jemele Hill

ESPN said that Hill “recently initiated discussions with ESPN executives about exploring new responsibilities within the company.”

In its announcement, ESPN quotes Hill as saying “I started at ESPN 11 years ago as a columnist and while I have worn many hats in the time since, my true love always has been writing, reporting and commentary. While I have grown in every way imaginable this last year on the 6 p.m. SportsCenter, deep down I knew it wasn’t my calling.”

She says she approached Connor Schell, ESPN’s executive VP for content, about moving to a new role and that working for The Undefeated was her first choice.

ESPN noted that the 6 p.m. SportsCenter, dubbed SC6 has undergone recent format changes.

“The telecast continues to evolve as our primary mission is serving sports fans no matter the time of day,” said Norby Williamson, ESPN executive VP, production and executive editor. “We have clearly learned that viewers expect the most comprehensive news coverage and compelling analysis during the 6 p.m. hour. Michael Smith is an experienced journalist and seasoned commentator and I'm confident that his talents can help us achieve our objectives as we move forward.”

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.