Jemele Hill Continues To Build Her Sports, Media and Culture Conglomerate

Jemele Hill has expanded her exclusive Spotify podcast pact to form her own podcast network: The Unbothered Network, which aims to elevate the voices and stories of Black women.

The name is based on Hill’s Spotify-exclusive podcast “Jemele Hill Unbothered,” which the audio-streaming platform has renewed for a third season.

Hill, a provocative figure and culture critic, will work with longtime rep Evan Dick of Exit 39 and a team of creatives and executives to develop podcasts for The Unbothered Network in collaboration with Spotify.

 

“The Unbothered Network is more than just a content hub — it’s a space where Black women can hopefully see their full selves.” Hill said in a statement. “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 ignored. I’m also proud of this network because it not only centers on 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 fact that Hill is the latest in a string of investments by Spotify to expand its podcast business. It recently signed an exclusive deal for Alex Cooper’s “Call Her Daddy,” after securing exclusive agreements with top podcasters Joe Rogan and Dax Shepard. Spotify also has exclusive deals in place for original podcasts from the Obamas, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and Ava DuVernay.

Hill launched her podcast on Spotify in April 2019.

“Jemele Hill Is Unbothered” features conversations with newsmakers across entertainment, culture, music and politics. Guests on her show have included Vice President Kamala Harris, Ava DuVernay, Common, Ice Cube, Spike Lee, Gabrielle Union, Chelsea Clinton, Dan Rather, Stephen Colbert, Issa Rae, Taraji P. Henson and Soledad O’Brien.

In April 2020 Hill and Van Lathan launches “The Wire: Way Down in the Hole,” a podcast from The Ringer (acquired by Spotify earlier last year) that breaks down every episode on the HBO original series.

Hill is an award-winning journalist and the co-founder of production company Lodge Freeway Media and a contributing writer for The Atlantic.

Hill previously spent 12 years at ESPN, where she made history by co-hosting an edition of “SportsCenter” with Michael Smith and contributed to other shows before leaving the network in 2018.

Last summer, Hill and her longtime friend, former ESPN anchor Cari Champion launched a weekly, late-night show on Vice Network called Cari & Jemele: (Won’t) Stick To Sports” covering sports, politics, news, current events and pop culture.

In the spring, Hill was tapped as an advisor to Meadowlark Media, the content studio startup focused on sports creators headed by former ESPN chief John Skipper and ex-ESPN host Dan LeBatard. Hill is also stretching her muscles behind the camera.

In addition, she is set to produce an ESPN documentary on former NFL quarterback and civil rights activist Colin Kaepernick. The ever busy Hill is also developing a comedy series for Showtime with Gabrielle Union as well.

She’s come a long way from Detroit. Now she’s influencing every nook and cranny of Black culture.