Jay Mariotti

Jay Mariotti (/mæriˈɒti/; born June 22, 1959) is an American sports journalist and commentator who currently hosts the sports-related podcast Unmuted. He previously 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]

Jay Mariotti
Born (1959-06-22) June 22, 1959
Known forFormer Around the Horn panelist and Chicago Sun-Times columnist

Early life and education

Mariotti was born on June 22, 1959, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He grew up in suburban Pittsburgh. After high school, he attended Ohio University, where he was the sports editor on the school's newspaper.[2][3]


After leaving Ohio University, Mariotti earned a job as a feature writer for The Detroit News. He stayed at that newspaper for 4 years before taking a job as a sports columnist for The Cincinnati Post in 1985.[4] He later moved to Denver where he was a columnist for both the Rocky Mountain News and The Denver Post.[2][5] While in Denver, he also hosted a sports talk radio show on KBX.[6] In 1990, he joined The National Sports Daily as a columnist based in Detroit and, later, New York City. The publication folded in 1991, and Mariotti became a columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times later that year.[2]

He would go on to spend 17 years as a columnist at the Sun-Times.[7] During his tenure there, he also hosted several radio shows including one in the late 1990s that was syndicated through the One on One Sports network and another in 2004 on Chicago's WMVP.[8] He left the latter position after 10 months after refusing to comply with the station's request that he minimize his criticism of the Chicago White Sox and the Chicago Bulls.[9] Starting in 2002,[10] he became a regular panelist on the ESPN sports talk show, Around the Horn.[11] He also made occasional appearances on another ESPN program, Pardon the Interruption.[3]

During his time in Chicago, Mariotti was occasionally the subject of controversy for his often highly critical language. One notable case occurred in 2006 when Chicago White Sox manager, Ozzie Guillén, directed a "profanity-laced tirade" toward Mariotti after he had been critical of Guillén's management of relief pitcher, Sean Tracey.[12] In August 2008, Mariotti left the Chicago Sun-Times, citing his belief that newspapers would soon become obsolete with news coverage primarily coming from websites.[7]

In January 2009, he joined AOL's FanHouse website as a columnist.[13] On September 30, 2010, Mariotti pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor battery count connected to an August 21 arrest in Los Angeles for alleged domestic violence involving his girlfriend.[14][15] In August 2010, Mariotti was suspended from AOL's FanHouse[16] and stopped appearing on Around the Horn or any other ESPN properties.[17] Mariotti has since maintained his innocence, stating that he pleaded no contest only to avoid the costs of a trial.[18] Some charges against him were expunged in 2013.[19]

In March 2015, he was hired as the sports director for The San Francisco Examiner. In that position, he wrote 4 to 5 columns per week for the paper.[19] Mariotti left the Examiner after a year in March 2016.[20] In December 2016, Mariotti started a podcast called Unmuted with his former Around the Horn panelist, Woody Paige.[21] Mariotti continues to host the show, although Paige is no longer a co-host.[22]


  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 7, 2015. Retrieved February 26, 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. Johnson, Dirk (October 2006). "Press Boxing". Chicago. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
  3. Longo, Chris (August 14, 2014). "Q&A: Jay Mariotti". Backdrop Magazine. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
  4. Watson-Rouslin, Virginia (December 1986). "The Post's Feisty Mariotti". Cincinnati. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
  5. Dater, Adrian (August 1, 2017). The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly: Denver Broncos: Heart-Pounding, Jaw-Dropping, and Gut-Wrenching Moments from Denver Broncos History. Triumph Books. p. 70.
  6. Richardson, Steve (July 7, 1989). "SECOND CHANCE FOR SEPTIEN". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  7. Kirk, Jim (August 27, 2008). "Mariotti quits the Sun-Times". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  8. Stewart, Larry (December 17, 1999). "Sports Talk? It's Tough in the Mornings". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  9. Greenstein, Teddy (December 29, 2004). "Mariotti, WMVP's short marriage over". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  10. "ESPN Originals "PTI" And "Beg, Borrow" Hits; "Horn" Debuts". Sports Business Daily. November 5, 2002. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  11. "Jay Mariotti charged in domestic dispute". ESPN. September 13, 2010. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  12. "Guillen apologizes for use of homosexual slur". ESPN. June 22, 2006. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  13. Rosenthal, Phil (January 4, 2009). "Jay Mariotti joins AOL Sports as national columnist, no longer 'scrutinizing the same five teams over and over". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  14. Blankstein, Andrew (August 21, 2010). "ESPN's Jay Mariotti released from jail on $50,000 bail [Updated]". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  15. "With Plea Deal, Mariotti Avoids Jail Time". WMAQ. September 30, 2010. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  16. Sandomir, Richard (August 26, 2010). "Sports Columnist Mariotti Suspended by AOL". The New York Times. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  17. Blankstein, Andrew (September 13, 2010). "ESPN has 'no plans' to use Jay Mariotti on network amid domestic violence charges [Updated]". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  18. O'Donnell, Dennis (March 30, 2015). "Controversial Sportswriter Jay Mariotti Brings His Firebrand Style To SF Examiner, KPIX 5 Interview". KPIX. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  19. Garofoli, Joe (March 6, 2015). "Controversial sports pundit Jay Mariotti hired by S.F. Examiner". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  20. Yoder, Matt (March 24, 2016). "Jay Mariotti's time at the San Francisco Examiner has come to an end". Awful Announcing. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  21. Casselberry, Ian (December 16, 2016). "They're back: Woody Paige, Jay Mariotti reuniting on new Unmuted podcast". Awful Announcing. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  22. "Unmuted: The National Sports Podcast with Jay Mariotti". PodBean. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
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