UPDATED with more details: Jemele Hill is departing as co-anchor of the 6 PM hour of ESPN’s SportsCenter, but she will remain with the Disney-owned network where she is currently under a multi-year deal, Deadline has learned.
Next month, Hill will join the staff of ESPN vertical The Undefeated as chief correspondent and senior columnist. The site is a content initiative that explores the intersections of sports, race and culture. In addition, she will do occasional pieces for E:60 and provide perspective and commentary on shows like SportsCenter, Outside the Lines, Around the Horn, Highly Questionable and Pardon the Interruption as well as on radio and podcasts.
“There is an old adage that says, the heart wants what it wants,” said Hill in a statement from the network. “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 said she recently approached ESPN’s EVP Content Connor Schell to ask about re-thinking her role. Her final SC6 is February 2.
Last February, ESPN relaunched SportsCenter as SC6 with Hill and Michael Smith as its new anchors. Smith will continue on as anchor, the network said. The two had been together since launching the His & Hers podcast that became a daily TV show in 2014.
In September, Hill became the target of a tweet from President Donald Trump in which he demanded ESPN “apologize for untruth” after Hill tweeted that Trump is a “white supremacist.”
The White House blasted her tweet as a “fireable offense.” ESPN released a statement saying Hill’s tweets do not represent the position of the network; she was suspended two weeks over the incident. Hill later acknowledged that “Twitter wasn’t the place to vent my frustrations.”
Sports Illustrated was first to report Hill’s move.