June 22, 1959 |
|Occupation||Sportswriter and Broadcaster|
Jay Mariotti (//; born June 22, 1959) is a former American sports commentator and writer. Mariotti 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. His legal troubles resulted in the termination of his contract with ESPN. He later served as San Francisco Examiner sports program director for 11 months prior to his termination on March 1, 2016.
Life and career
Mariotti was born in Pittsburgh and studied journalism at Ohio University before beginning his professional sportswriting career at The Detroit News.  In 1985, Mariotti became one of the country's youngest sports columnists at The Cincinnati Post. He moved on to write columns for The Rocky Mountain News and The Denver Post. He then wrote for The National Sports Daily in New York. 
Mariotti made his writing debut for AOL Sports (now FanHouse) on January 5, 2009 where he shared his views about any number of sports-related topics.  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.
On February 10, 2013, Jay Mariotti announced that he was returning to ESPN to work on "a freelance storytelling” assignment.
Mariotti joined the Chicago Sun-Times as a sports columnist in 1991 and spent 17 years there.  He feuded with everyone from colleagues to Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, the latter of which prompted Sun-Times baseball writer Chris De Luca to write, "The same critics who avoid ever stepping into the White Sox's clubhouse are calling the Chicago media soft for not skewering manager Ozzie Guillen. They want Guillen fired yesterday. Sounds tough, but the rhetoric comes up a little, well, soft." On August 26, 2008, Mariotti announced that he was resigning from the newspaper. He stated his choice was heavily weighted on the fact that, while covering the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, 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." Mariotti's criticism of the newspaper industry and his resignation from the newspaper prompted a public rebuttal from another fellow Sun-Times employee, high-profile movie critic Roger Ebert, who defended the newspaper business and criticized Mariotti's penchant for writing sensationalist columns to attract readers. 
On the morning of August, 21, 2010, Mariotti was arrested in Los Angeles, charged with felony assault of his girlfriend and released on $50,000 bond. He allegedly pulled a chunk of her hair-extensions out, grabbed her cellphone, and shouted at her.
The case was heard by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge James R. Dabney.  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."
On September 30, Mariotti pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor battery count and was sentenced to 3 years probation and 40 days of community service. The charge was later expunged.  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.
The Mariotti Show
In August 2013, Mariotti launched a short-lived internet venture called The Mariotti Show on www.mariottishow.com in a distribution deal with Genesis Communications, a partner of the NBC Sports Radio Network. The site featured the live streaming feed of his national radio show and highlighted 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 November, 2014, operations ceased because of marketing and financial challenges.
In April, 2015, the San Francisco Examiner hired Mariotti to be its lead sports columnist as part of an expanded sports package. Billed as Mariotti Madness, his column failed to make the anticipated impact the Bay Area, where his long-winded essays didn't connect with younger readers in particular. Faced with financial challenges, management determined his salary to be cost prohibitive. The two sides parted ways on March 1, 2016, a decision that had been long in the making, according to editor in chief Michael Howerton. Mariotti was replaced by Jacob C. Palmer, a former Wenatchee World (Wash.) sportswriter.
- Jay Mariotti Lead Columnist (2009-01-15). "Sunnier Times in New Mainstream Media - FanHouse". Jay-mariotti.fanhouse.com. Retrieved 2010-08-21.
- "ESPN has 'no plans' to use Jay Mariotti on network amid domestic violence charges". Los Angeles Times. September 13, 2010. Retrieved November 18, 2010.
- Sherman, Ed (2013-02-11). "Mariotti receives ESPN assignment: Working on ‘storytelling’ project". The Sherman Report. Retrieved 2013-06-18.
- Jay Mariotti joins AOL Sports as national columnist, taint and fighter, no longer 'scrutinizing the same five teams over and over' Jan. 4, 2009.
- "Jay the Rat". RogerEbert.com. Retrieved 2010-04-14.
- "ESPN's Jay Mariotti arrested by L.A. police". Latimesblogs.latimes.com. 2010-08-21. Retrieved 2010-08-21.
- "Sports commentator Jay Mariotti charged with seven misdemeanors - ESPN Los Angeles". Sports.espn.go.com. 2010-09-14. Retrieved 2013-06-18.
- "Jay Mariotti Sentenced After Domestic Violence Arrest". The Huffington Post. October 1, 2010. Retrieved November 18, 2010.
- Garofoli, Joe. "Controversial sports pundit Jay Mariotti hired by S.F. Examiner", San Francisco Chronicle, 6 March 2015. Retrieved on 27 April 2015.