ESPN’s Michael Smith and Jemele Hill will end their daytime show “His & Hers” in the coming weeks and take their talents into primetime to co-host the 6 p.m. edition of the network’s flagship program, “SportsCenter.”
The pair, who just signed new, multi-year deals with the Disney-owned sports network, will make the move on February 6, 2017, the day after Super Bowl LI. They’ll replace the broadcast’s current 6 p.m. anchor, Lindsay Czarniak, who will go on maternity leave in early November and return next year in a different role to be announced at a later date.
According to Variety, the switch “shows ESPN continuing to try to create “SportsCenter” broadcasts tailored for the times at which they air.
Last year, ESPN launched a late-night version of the show, with host Scott Van Pelt offering a more spirited take on the plays and match-ups of the day.
“One thing we do know is that people watch differently over the course of the day,” said Rob King, ESPN’s senior vice president of “SportsCenter” and news, in an interview Tuesday. “They have different needs.”
Smith and Hill’s “SportsCenter” is expected to be more conversational, and include more of their commentary and opinion.
“By 6 p.m. and 3 p.m. on the West Coast, we understand that audiences have pretty much come across the headlines that have happened in the course of a day, either through social content, or through mobile or digital content,” said King. “What they actually really need is a sense of why it matters, and a sense of context, as opposed to just news.”
The show will continue to set up big sports events of the night with newsmaker and analyst interviews.
Hill and Smith will host their final “His & Hers” episode at some point in the coming weeks, with a date to be determined.
In addition, Cari Champion, co-host of the network’s Coast to Coast, will also stay with the leader in sports. Cari has re-signed a multi-year deal to remain on Sportscenter and also as a contributor to espnW, including her podcast “Be Honest with Cari Champion.”
(Photo Source: Jemele Hill Instagram)