*Variety is reporting that Michael Smith will anchor ESPN’s 6 p.m. ET “SportsCenter” alone for the remainder of Jemele Hill’s suspension.
The two have co-anchored the high profile timeslot — billed as “SC6” — since February, following the end of their previous midday hour, “His & Hers,” on ESPN2.
Tuesday will be Smith’s first solo appearance. After Hill was suspended Monday, Smith sat out that evening’s telecast — a decision a network source characterized as mutually made by Smith and ESPN, reports Variety. Matt Barrie hosted “SportsCenter” from 6-9 p.m. on ESPN2 in the hosts’ absence, as “Monday Night Football” and pregame show “Monday Night Countdown” aired on ESPN.
Smith will be joined for the next two weeks by various guests in studio and via satellite providing reporting and analysis for various segments, but none will be in Hill’s chair as a temporary replacement.
Hill tweeted love and gratitude toward her ride-or-die Tuesday afternoon, calling Smith “my biggest supporter, a great friend, terrific husband & father.”
I love you @michaelsmith for being my biggest supporter, a great friend, terrific husband & father. I truly don’t deserve you. See you soon.
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) October 10, 2017
ESPN on Monday suspended Hill for two weeks following statements the anchor tweeted regarding a proposed boycott of NFL advertisers. The move would counter mandates from owners of the Miami Dolphins and Dallas Cowboys that players stand during pregame performances of national anthem.
The suspension came one month after ESPN became embroiled in controversy over a tweet by Hill calling President Donald Trump a white supremacist.
Trump on Tuesday chimed in on the latest dust-up involving Hill and ESPN, writing on Twitter, “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!”