Jemele Hill Reveals That She Was Paid $200,000 Less Than Her Former ESPN Co-Anchor
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Jemele Hill Reveals That She Was Paid $200,000 Less Than Her Former ESPN Co-Anchor

Jemele Hill has made a name for herself in journalism due to her witty and informative commentary that many folks enjoy. She began her career working for the Detroit Free Press answering phones and worked her way up to journalist. However, when she began appearing on ESPN shows such as Outside the Lines, First Take, and SportsCenter, she was quickly becoming a household name.

But while she was gaining notoriety with the popular sports network, her paycheck didn’t reflect her success. In an interview with Revolt TV’s Assets Over Liabilities show, the 46-year-old journalist said she was underpaid in comparison to her SC6 co-anchor Michael Smith.

“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?!’” she said. “ESPN forced me to really grow up because it’s a different game being played at that level than it is at the previous places I had been,” she said. This is the first time I had an agent and the first time I really had to learn how to manage my money.”

While she was making major moves securing an agent and taking care of the business side of things, she still wasn’t paid her worth revealing that she was making $200,000 less than Smith. She also said that she was an independent contractor for the network and only made $120,000 a year with most of it going towards taxes and healthcare.

“It’s not so much about what you’re worth, it’s about what you will negotiate,” she said. “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.”

However, she learned a valuable lesson. “The lesson that I learned, you can’t sell out for a name,” she said.

While she wasn’t being paid her worth at the network, she has since had a very fruitful career following her departure from SportsCenter. Jemele began writing for The Atlantic and she now has her own podcast Jemele Hill is Unbothered where she has interviewed a variety of notable figures in sports, entertainment, and politics.

Jemele Hill On ESPN, CNN, The Business Of Journalism, Her Career & More | Assets Over Liabilitiesyoutu.be

Featured image by Ethan Miller/Getty Images




As they say, create the change you want to see in this world, besties. That’s why xoNecole linked up with Hyundai for the inaugural ItGirl 100 List, a celebration of 100 Genzennial women who aren’t afraid to pull up their own seats to the table. Across regions and industries, these women embody the essence of discovering self-value through purpose, honey! They're fierce, they’re ultra-creative, and we know they make their cities proud.


Even though it’s my life, sometimes I look at it and totally trip out over certain things.

For instance, even though I am aware that both Hebrew and African cultures put a lot of stock in the name of a child (because they believe it speaks to their purpose; so do I) and I know that my name is pretty much Hebrew for divine covenant, it’s still wild that in a couple of years, I will have been working with married couples for a whopping two decades — and boy, is it an honor when they will say something like, “Shellie, we’ve seen [professionally] multiple people and no one has been nearly as effective as you have been.”