Jay Mariotti

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Jay Mariotti
Born (1959-06-22) June 22, 1959 (age 55)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Occupation Sportswriter and Broadcaster
Nationality American

Jay Mariotti (/mæriˈɒti/; born June 22, 1959) is an American sports commentator and writer. He spent 17 years as a Chicago Sun-Times columnist and eight years as a regular panelist on the ESPN sports-talk program Around the Horn.[1] His legal troubles resulted in the termination of his contract with ESPN.

Life and career[edit]

Mariotti was born in Pittsburgh and attended Ohio University, where he received his degree in journalism.[2] He has appeared as a panelist on Around the Horn and has guest hosted Pardon the Interruption.[3] Prior to his work with ESPN, he co-hosted a daily sports talk radio program on One on One Sports/Sporting News Radio.

Mariotti is a longtime sports columnist, starting with The Detroit News in the early 1980s. He moved to The Cincinnati Post in 1985.[4][5] He moved to The Denver Post in the late 1980s, where he met Woody Paige, a fellow regular panelist on Around the Horn. Mariotti and Paige were said to have been in a long-running feud during their time together in Denver, which eventually resulted in Mariotti leaving the Post for the paper's then rival, the Rocky Mountain News; the rivalry was something that was mentioned at times in the early episodes of Around the Horn. Both have stated that the feud is over, and Paige is a frequent guest on Jay Mariotti Show broadcasts. Mariotti left Denver and joined the Chicago Sun-Times in 1991, staying with the paper until 2008. There he was among the most outspoken and widely read sports columnists in the country.

Mariotti made his writing debut for AOL Sports (now FanHouse) on Jan. 5, 2009 where he shared his views about any number of sports-related topics. [6] In 2010, he left Chicago and relocated to Los Angeles.

In 2010, ESPN announced it was no longer employing Mariotti due to his arrest on charges of domestic abuse.[7]

On Feb. 10, 2013, Jay Mariotti announced that he was returning to ESPN to work on "a freelance storytelling” assignment.[8]

Currently, Mariotti operates his own website with a radio show under Genesis Communications. His radio show is called The Mariotti Show

Sun-Times resignation[edit]

On Aug. 26, 2008, Mariotti announced that he was resigning from the Chicago Sun-Times after writing for them for 17 years. He stated his choice was heavily weighted on the fact that while covering the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing that he saw more writers for websites covering the Games and a smaller presence of newspapers, giving him the opinion that writing for a website was "what the future holds."[9] Mariotti's criticism of the newspaper industry and his resignation from the newspaper prompted a public rebuttal from fellow Sun-Times employee and movie critic Roger Ebert, who defended the newspaper business and criticized Mariotti's penchant for writing sensationalist columns during his time there. Additionally, many other writers and columnists from the Sun-Times noted their history with Mariotti in the days following his departure from the paper. Many of those memories were of Mariotti's antagonistic nature in person and print.[10]

Legal Issues[edit]

On Aug. 21, 2010, Mariotti was arrested in Los Angeles and booked on suspicion of a felony after a domestic altercation with his girlfriend.[11] AOL suspended Mariotti on August 26.[12] On September 13, Los Angeles city prosecutors charged Mariotti with seven misdemeanors in connection with the domestic disturbance. Mariotti's attorney called the allegations "inaccurate and sensationalized." She went on to say, "We are confident that the facts will show the complainant was extremely intoxicated that night and abusive toward Mr. Mariotti."[13] On September 30, Mariotti pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor battery count and was sentenced to 3 years probation, 40 days of community service, a 52-week domestic violence course, and a court order to stay away from the victim.[14] ESPN has chosen not to use Mariotti on air since his arrest and indicated it had no plans to do so.[7]

On May 11, 2011, Mariotti pleaded not guilty to three felonies—stalking, domestic violence and assault—after he confronted his ex-girlfriend the same day a court ordered him to stay away from her, according to prosecutors. He was also charged with two misdemeanor counts of disobeying a court order. In addition to confronting his ex-girlfriend at a restaurant Sept. 30—the day he pleaded no contest to one count of misdemeanor domestic violence — prosecutors said he argued with his former girlfriend again outside of a Venice restaurant April 15. He allegedly pulled a chunk of her hair-extensions out, grabbed her cellphone, shouted at her, and ordered that she get plastic surgery because she was not satisfactory to his demands as a high profile sports writer and general celebrity, prosecutors said.[15] On Sept. 13, 2011, Mariotti pleaded no contest rather than "drag my family through a media circus," he said. As part of the plea deal, the charges were reduced to misdemeanors and Mariotti agreed to undergo a year of counseling and 90 days of community service. He was sentenced to five years probation and is eligible to have that time reduced in 2014.[16]

The Mariotti Show[edit]

Main article: The Mariotti Show

In August, 2013, Mariotti launched an internet print and broadcast venture called "The Mariotti Show" on www.mariottishow.com in a distribution deal with Genesis Communications.

The site features the live streaming feed of his national radio show, airing noon to 3 p.m. ET Monday through Friday. It also highlights his columns on major sports topics and events, immediate short-form opinions about sports and life, interviews, video commentaries, a running travelogue and free-flowing audience interaction in a live, continuous format.

Genesis is in partnership with the NBC Sports Radio Network. In addition, a show app is being developed for mobile devices.

Said Mariotti: “We’ll bring the proper balance and make nationwide impact with a compelling mix of daily topicality, strong opinions, professionalism, interaction and, for sure, fun. To combine radio and video with my continuing fascination with sports and commentary is just what I’ve wanted to do in this evolving media era.”


  1. ^ http://www.realclearsports.com/lists/Jay_Mariotti/rcs_interviews_jay_mariotti.html
  2. ^ Vanderberg, Marcus (September 28, 2011). "SO WHAT DO YOU DO, JAY MARIOTTI, SPORTS WRITER AND TV PERSONALITY?". Mediabistro. Retrieved October 18, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Jay Mariotti". TV.com. Retrieved 2006-11-04. 
  4. ^ Wojciechowski, Gene (1990). Pond Scum and Vultures. Macmillan Publishers. ISBN 0026308517.  As quoted in Carmichael, Emma (February 18, 2011). "Remembering The Time Jay Mariotti Got Hazed In The Reds Clubhouse". Deadspin (Gawker Media). Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  5. ^ Wheeler, Lonnie (December 31, 2007). "Post sports department a writer's paradise". The Cincinnati Post (E. W. Scripps). Retrieved January 11, 2015 – via HighBeam Research. (subscription required (help)). 
  6. ^ Jay Mariotti Lead Columnist (2009-01-15). "Sunnier Times in New Mainstream Media - FanHouse". Jay-mariotti.fanhouse.com. Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  7. ^ a b "ESPN has 'no plans' to use Jay Mariotti on network amid domestic violence charges". Los Angeles Times. September 13, 2010. Retrieved November 18, 2010. 
  8. ^ Sherman, Ed (2013-02-11). "Mariotti receives ESPN assignment: Working on ‘storytelling’ project". The Sherman Report. Retrieved 2013-06-18. 
  9. ^ Jay Mariotti joins AOL Sports as national columnist, taint and fighter, no longer 'scrutinizing the same five teams over and over' Jan. 4, 2009.
  10. ^ "Jay the Rat". RogerEbert.com. Retrieved 2010-04-14. 
  11. ^ "ESPN's Jay Mariotti arrested by L.A. police". Latimesblogs.latimes.com. 2010-08-21. Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  12. ^ Sandomir, Richard (2010-08-26). "Jay Mariotti Is Suspended by AOL". The New York Times. 
  13. ^ "Sports commentator Jay Mariotti charged with seven misdemeanors - ESPN Los Angeles". Sports.espn.go.com. 2010-09-14. Retrieved 2013-06-18. 
  14. ^ "Jay Mariotti Sentenced After Domestic Violence Arrest". The Huffington Post. October 1, 2010. Retrieved November 18, 2010. 
  15. ^ "L.A. Now". Los Angeles Times. 
  16. ^ "L.A. Now". Los Angeles Times. 

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