Former ESPN SportsCenter anchor Jemele Hill will launch a podcast exclusively on Spotify, joining a growing roster of talent who are lending their authentic voices and perspectives to the streaming service.
Dubbed Unbothered, Hill’s podcast will air twice a week, starting in March.
“I have a lot of things to say, and there’s not a lot of platforms that give you the freedom to not just be thoughtful but to come with a realness that not everyone is prepared to accept,” said Hill in remarks this morning at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Hill announced her departure from ESPN in September. She attracted national headlines when she tweeted that “Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists.” Two days later, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called the remarks “a fireable offense” and “one of the more outrageous comments that anyone could make.”
The commentator again stirred controversy when she suggested that NFL fans could choose not to patronize sponsors of the Dallas Cowboys to protest owner Jerry Jones’ decision to bench players who did not stand for the national anthem. That remark resulted in a two-week suspension from ESPN.
Spotify’s Courtney Holt isn’t shying away from potential controversy.
“At the end of the day, we want to enable creators to have a platform to speak their minds,” he said. “It’s about enabling creators like Jemele to do what they do best. It’s not an effort to go after controversial topics. It’s making sure it’s an authentic voice that wants to be heard.”
Hill, who joined The Atlantic in October as a senior staff writer covering race, politics and culture, said she expects to tackle a range of issues across pop culture, sports and entertainment news with her podcast. And she promised to be even more provocative than she is on social media.
“Probably more so, because I get to curse,” Hill said. “It’ll be an opportunity for me to be more unfiltered and more thoughtful about some things, and cover a wide variety of topics.”
Holt said Spotify has been focused on creating a rich universe of podcasts, first by assembling some of the most popular shows in one place, and better integrating it into Spotify’s listening experience. Now, it’s adding exclusive content, like Hill’s podcast, to further distinguish its program offerings.
Hill is repped by CAA, Exit 39, and Jackoway Tyerman.