The primetime “SportsCenter” hour has lost both its hosts in the span of a few weeks. Michael Smith will reportedly leave the program after Friday’s show, according to Sports Illustrated.
Smith, like former co-host Jemele Hill, will remain at ESPN in another capacity. Hill left the program to write for The Undefeated, an ESPN site. Both Smith and Hill are still under contract with the company for multiple years.
Smith’s decision likely stems from losing his co-host.He was one of Hill’s biggest defenders after the company reprimanded her for a tweet calling Donald Trump a white supremacist and another tweet suggesting people should boycott companies that sponsor the Dallas Cowboys.
Shortly after news broke of Hill’s exit, Smith appeared on a podcast where he dropped a couple expletives while criticizing ESPN.
The version of “SportsCenter” featuring Smith and Hill, also known as “SC6,” was supposed to be a departure from the old format. The network said the show would be built around their personalities. Over time, ESPN attempted to move away from that focus, prompting Hill to leave.
If Smith exits the program after Friday’s show, the “SC6” format of “SportCenter” will have lost its original hosts after just 13 months.
(The Turnstile H/N: Sports Illustrated)
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