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Report: Jemele Hill to Accept ESPN Buyout of Contract, Leave Company

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 26, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 05: Journalist Jemele Hill attends ESPN The Party on February 5, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for ESPN)
Mike Windle/Getty Images

Jemele Hill will leave ESPN after accepting a buyout from the company, Sporting News' Michael McCarthy reported Saturday.

According to James Andrew Miller, who co-authored a book detailing the history of ESPN, Hill's departure will become final Sept. 1. Miller described her buyout as "amicable" and a "long time coming."

Hill had worked alongside Michael Smith on the 6 p.m. ET edition of SportsCenter before leaving that role and joining The Undefeated in January.

ESPN issued a statement last September distancing itself from remarks Hill made about President Donald Trump. Hill had called Trump "a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists" and "the most ignorant, offensive president of my lifetime."

Shortly thereafter, Trump referenced ESPN's general decline in viewership as the trend of cord-cutting has grown:

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

ESPN is paying a really big price for its politics (and bad programming). People are dumping it in RECORD numbers. Apologize for untruth!

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

With Jemele Hill at the mike, it is no wonder ESPN ratings have "tanked," in fact, tanked so badly it is the talk of the industry!

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White House press secretary Sarah Sanders also described Hill's tweets as a "fireable offense" during a briefing with reporters.

In March, Jimmy Pitaro took over as president of ESPN. Earlier this month, he spoke about his desire to see the company and its employees avoid entering the political fray.

"If you ask me is there a false narrative out there, I will tell you ESPN being a political organization is false," Pitaro said, per the Washington Post's Ben Strauss. "I will tell you I have been very, very clear with employees here that it is not our jobs to cover politics, purely."

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