Jemele Hill reveals the real reasons why she left ESPN in 2018.
In a recent interview, the journalist spoke about the things that took place behind the scenes while working at the sports conglomerate. She also spoke about the political tweets that she made on her social media.
“I didn’t consider it speaking out. I considered it ‘telling the truth,’ which is a core principle in journalism,” Hill said. “We’re supposed to be truth-tellers on top of being storytellers, and we’re also supposed to hold those in power accountable.”
She added that she was taught the most lessons while working at ESPN, which forced her to grow up fast.
“It wasn’t until I got to ESPN that I really got serious about the business side of journalism because I got to see what people made. I was like, ‘Oh, that’s possible?!’ ESPN forced me to really grow up because it’s a different game being played at the level than it is at the previous places I had been. This is the first time I had an agent and the first time I really had to learn how to manage my money,” she said.
Hill went on to reveal that her co-host of His & Hers Michael Smith was making more than her although they were doing the same job.
“I was making $200,000 less than him even though we were doing the same job. It’s not so much about what you’re worth, it’s about what you will negotiate. I started at ESPN at such a low salary to begin with. One of those, We’ll see how it works kind of contracts. A 2-and-2 contract: two-year deal with a two-year option, one of the worst contracts I ever signed.”
Hill revealed that she was making $120,000 the first year as an independent contractor. When Hill left ESPN in 2018, she said she did it because she wasn’t happy there.
“The thing about ‘SportsCenter’, it was never my dream job, so it was easy to walk away. That’s because I was unhappy. I didn’t like the job. I didn’t like some of the things they were doing to our show, I didn’t like the leadership that was in charge of our show so I was like, ‘Let me find something else within the company to do.”
Jemele Hill stated that her situation was the real reason behind her leaving. Since doing so, she has been writing again and not appearing on TV as much.