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Jemele Hill: Spotify ‘Has Given Me The Same Treatment’ As Joe Rogan

“It wouldn’t have made any sense for me to end the relationship with Spotify, which would have been very costly and wanting to make sure this network got off the ground was very important to me.”

Ricky Keeler

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Back in June 2021, Jemele Hill signed a deal with Spotify to launch her own podcast network, The Unbothered Network, so she could provide more voices for black women. Over the last year, she has been able to tell many stories, but the business relationship can sometimes be a tricky one.

Hill was a guest on the That’s What She Said with Sarah Spain podcast, which Spain called her “last, for now” episode this week and she said that in any business relationship she has, she wants to know how the company will respond when she says something that people might deem controversial.

“Mostly what I think about now with the business relationships that I have is inevitably, I’m going to say something that’s going to be ahead of my time. When this happens, what’s going to be your response? That determines a lot. This Spotify relationship. All I can tell people is it’s complicated.”

One name Hill brought up on the podcast is Spotify’s business relationship with Joe Rogan and while Hill doesn’t agree with Rogan, she knows Spotify won’t ever ask her to change how she thinks:

“I don’t know Joe Rogan, I’m not here for Joe Rogan. He’s terrible. He irresponsibly uses his platform all the time. The way Spotify operates is it’s like the McDonald’s corporation. They lend out franchises. Maybe it would be a different conversation if they had ever come to me and said you know what, you can’t say that but they let Joe Rogan say whatever. That would be different.

“In their minds, they are just like we’re just the platform. Yes, we will clean up what we can but other than that, it’s out of our hands. They have given me the same treatment. If that were different, I’d say we have a problem here, but we don’t.

“On top of that, with me developing this podcast network for black women, that’s more important than Joe Rogan. It wouldn’t have made any sense for me to end the relationship with Spotify, which would have been very costly and wanting to make sure this network got off the ground was very important to me. I’m not going to walk away from that for somebody I don’t know.”

Hill told Spain that when she left ESPN in 2018, she still had multiple years left on her contract and she could have stayed, but she wanted to feel she could say whatever she wants to say.

“I could have stayed at ESPN. I had 3 more years left on my contract. That would not have been an issue. It was about the fact that I knew that I had more to say in different spaces and being there wasn’t going to allow me to do it. It felt constricting to be there. It doesn’t feel constricting for me to be at The Atlantic or Spotify. I can pretty much say what I want to say.

“That’s not to even suggest that I have something  so earth-shattering to say, but I can do it without some of the other corporate politics that I would have had to deal with at ESPN. I can pretty much blast the NFL into oblivion at The Atlantic because they don’t have a business relationship with the NFL.”

 In her post-ESPN ventures, Hill mentioned she enjoys that she can pick whichever projects she wants to be a part of.

“What I love is that when an opportunity comes in, it’s only one email, it’s me. There’s no kicking it upstairs, there’s no let me go see. I just respond yes or no or my assistant responds yes or no. I don’t have to run it past anybody. That freedom is invaluable.”

“Another thing that I like about this season I am in in my career is that I do get to cherry-pick certain projects. I’ve got to hustle like everybody else, don’t get me wrong, but the things I’m involved with, I’m super passionate about. That feels good to know you are pouring into something that you feel like is meaningful.”

Sports Online

Dan Le Batard: It Enrages Me That There’s a Craig Carton Show on TV

“The man defrauded the people and got right back into sports entertainment television!”

Jordan Bondurant

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The news of Tom Brady announcing his retirement on Wednesday came as Dan Le Batard and company were on the air, and in the midst of the initial reaction to Brady’s announcement, Le Batard offered a quick shot at WFAN and FS1 host Craig Carton.

Carton has been hosting a morning show on FS1 since last September. Craig added the TV show to co-hosting his successful afternoon drive program on WFAN alongside Evan Roberts.

But as Le Batard and the rest of the show were looking at the TV trying to figure out what was going on with the Brady story, Dan said he thought it was crazy Carton was on television.

“It enrages me that there’s a Carton show,” Le Batard said. “The man went to jail. The man defrauded the people and got right back into sports entertainment television!”

Carton went to prison for a year after facing a charge of securities and wire fraud. In the fall of 2020, after being released from jail earlier in the year, Carton made his return to WFAN.

It’s possible that Le Batard, who is busy running his own independent media operation, wasn’t aware Carton had a TV show. So it’s likely seeing Craig’s face probably was a bit of a shock. But it was clear Dan wasn’t expecting to learn the news from Carton’s show.

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ESPN Hands Out 6 New Contracts To Investigative Journalists

Jordan Bondurant

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ESPN is solidifying its lineup of investigative journalists. The network announced on Wednesday the hiring of two newcomers as well as contract extensions for four others.

Xuan Thai and Sara Coello are the two newcomers to The Worldwide Leader, starting their jobs in January.

Thai previously worked at NBC News and MSNBC. Most recently, she was the deputy bureau chief of the south region at NBC.

Coello has made her way to ESPN after stops at The Charlotte Observer, The Dallas Morning News and The Post and Courier in Charleston, S.C.

Alyssa Roenigk, Tisha Thompson, Sam Borden and Tom Junod are the four others who received contract extensions.

Roenigk is the most senior of the group, with 2023 being her 21st year at ESPN. She’s been an editor, sideline reporter, studio host and writer in that stretch of two decades.

Thompson and Borden both started at ESPN in 2017. Thompson has covered stories including the ongoing government investigation of Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder and investigated sexual assault allegations within the U.S. Snowboard team.

Borden has appeared regularly on various ESPN platforms like the ESPN Daily podcast and Outside the Lines. He’s a 2021 Edward R. Murrow Award winner for an NFL Countdown piece called “This Big Mo Show.”

Junod has been at ESPN since 2019. His previous stops include GQ, Esquire, Life and Sports Illustrated.

Additionally, a contract extension for veteran feature producer Scott Harves was announced by the network.

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Sports Online

Sports Media Reacts To Tom Brady Retiring

“Plenty of the biggest names in the business rushed to Twitter to pay tribute to Brady’s career on the football field.”

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Things seem a little more final this time. Tom Brady says he will not return to the field. The GOAT announced his retirement Wednesday morning in a video posted to social media.

While it is still unclear what happens next, plenty of people in the sports media had opinions to share. Plenty of the biggest names in the business rushed to Twitter to pay tribute to Brady’s career on the football field.

There were other reactions as well. It is well-known that Tom Brady has a ten-year contract worth $375 million waiting for him at FOX. That means plenty of people in the sports media have questions about what today’s announcement means for Greg Olsen.

Olsen has won plenty of acclaim as the analyst in the network’s top NFL booth. Brady’s deal includes him taking over that spot, so several personalities and writers used the day to publicly question the logic in that decision.

There was a third reaction too. Twitter was made for two things: reacting to breaking news and making jokes. Tom Brady announcing his retirement gave some members of the sports media the chance to do both.

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