Mon. Sep 24th, 2018

Michael Smith is Leaving SportsCenter

After SportsCenter anchor Jemele Hill left SC6 in January, it seemed logical co-host Michael Smith wouldn’t remain on the program much longer. According to Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated, Friday will be Smith’s final day headlining the 6pm edition of SportsCenter.

When SC6 was announced a little over a year ago, it was branded as a show that would allow the host’s personalities and opinions to be present. “With a format geared to fit Smith and Hill’s personalities, along with a specially-designed set and its own music, The Six will be different from any other SportsCenter.” ESPN’s press release from January 2017 stated.

“I’m most excited for the viewers to see how much freedom we are going to have,” said Smith in the release.

But that freedom quickly began to fade over the course of the show’s 13 month tenure. Recently, during an appearance on James Andrew Miller’s Origins podcast, Smith was open about SC6 reverting back toward being a more traditional SportsCenter.

“There was a time we weren’t even talking to each other [on air] anymore,” Smith told Miller. “Like no more Michael and Jemele, not less, not here and there. No more Michael and Jemele talking. No more of their commentary. It’s just strictly live shots and analysts. That’s what pissed me off so much.”

Smith continued, “I’m like, so wait a second, you all acknowledge that one of the strengths that we have going for us as a show is Michael and Jemele’s chemistry, but Michael and Jemele don’t f–king talk to each other? How does that make sense?”

SC6 launched on February 6th, 2017. The modern take on SportsCenter lasted just 13 months and less than a year with both Hill and Smith as co-hosts. Who will take over the 6pm edition of SportsCenter on a permanent basis, or in the interim beginning Monday, has not been reported.

According to Deitsch, Hill and Smith both have multiple years remaining on their ESPN contracts. Hill joined The Undefeated after leaving SC6, while Smith who has been with ESPN since 2004, previously contributed to shows including Around the Horn, First Take and SportsNation, will most likely take on a new role at the network.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

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