This week ESPN issued a press release touting the ratings success of SportsCenter, now that hosts Jemele Hill and Michael Smith were removed as hosts.
The 6 PM broadcast earned a four-percent growth in audience over March and April, the sports cable network reported.
Clay Travis of OutKick the Coverage noted that March and April mark the first two full months since former hosts Jemele Hill and Michael Smith were fired.
Since I am the most fair and impartial person on the Internet: ratings for the 6 PM SportsCenter have been up substantially since Michael Smith and Jemele Hill were fired off WokeCenter PM. ESPN PR is even promoting this today. pic.twitter.com/ofcBd6z6qB
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) May 3, 2018
The same ESPN press release also announced that Stephen A. Smith would soon take over hosting duties during the NBA Finals.
Travis also pointed out how remarkable it is that ESPN is essentially dissing its own past hosts by so prominently celebrating the ratings hike.
“Honestly, I’ve never seen this before,” Travis said, “this is a company publicly dunking on their own employees to point out how much better the show is now that they aren’t on it. I mean, you see this sometimes when an employee leaves — witness ESPN’s arguing First Take is still just as popular without Skip Bayless — but you NEVER see it when the employees are still making millions of dollars at your network.”
ESPN is right to tout its ratings successes, but it is salient to note that the ratings for SportsCenter went up immediately after the network eliminated two highly political hosts and replaced their “woke” style of broadcasting with straight sports news.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.