June 23, 2021

Jemele Hill’s media star (and influence) keeps rising. She is launching a podcast network with Spotify that will focus on Black women and amplify the voices of Black women. It will be called “The Unbothered Network” — named after Hill’s podcast “Jemele Hill is Unbothered,” which was renewed for a third season on Tuesday.

In a statement, Hill said, “The Unbothered Network is more than just a content hub, it’s a space where Black women can hopefully see their full selves. There’s so much about the lives of Black women that haven’t been fully explored, and so many of our stories have either been dismissed or overlooked. I’m also proud of this network because it not only centers Black women, but it’s also run by Black women. We can’t empower Black women if we’re not positioning them in leadership roles.”

The Hollywood Reporter’s J. Clara Chan has the scoop.

Chan wrote, “Other executives leading The Unbothered Network include the journalist Christina M. Tapper, the former deputy editor of Medium’s ZORA publication, and the producer Rich Boerner, who previously served as the SVP of Programming and Operations at Cadence13. Tapper will serve as executive producer and head of content, while Boerner will be head of production.”

In a follow-up tweet to her announcement, Hill tweeted, “To expand on the podcast network announcement, it was a non-negotiable for me that black women be put in position to direct all content decisions. So beyond thrilled that the brilliant @Tapperific is leading our efforts to center black women.”

Hill’s influence just keeps growing since leaving ESPN in 2018. The final years of her ESPN career were noteworthy not only because she, along with Michael Smith, was elevated to host of ESPN’s 6 p.m. “SportsCenter,” but she had an ongoing feud with President Donald Trump and the Trump White House. Hill has been highly critical of Trump, calling him a “white supremacist.” Trump once claimed in a tweet that ESPN’s ratings had “tanked” and mentioned Hill by name as a reason why.

Hill became a polarizing figure among ESPN viewers. Some of ESPN’s audience was turned off by Hill’s politics, even though Hill rarely actually talked politics on the air.

Hill left ESPN, saying at the time that the relationship with the network had been fruitful and good, but had “run its course.” She joined The Atlantic as a staff writer and then started her highly interesting and entertaining podcast.

It would seem Hill’s career is going just fine.

This piece originally appeared in The Poynter Report, our daily newsletter for everyone who cares about the media. Subscribe to The Poynter Report here.

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Tom Jones is Poynter’s senior media writer for He was previously part of the Tampa Bay Times family during three stints over some 30…
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