Fanhouse Lobbies AOL Execs To Keep Jay Mariotti

Yesterday in Los Angeles Superior Court, ESPN and AOL employee Jay Mariotti pleaded no contest, which has the effect of a guilty plea, to a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence against his girlfriend as part of a plea bargain to avoid jail time.

Jay Mariotti column readers AOL Fanhouse

(Clues as to how AOL Fanhouse readers would react to Mariotti’s return)

Before his August 21 arrest that led to Thursday’s plea bargain, Mariotti was a fulltime panelist on ESPN’s Around The Horn and lead columnist for AOL Fanhouse.

Since Mariotti’s plea bargain to avoid jail time, I’ve talked to several sources at ESPN and AOL Fanhouse about the prospect of Mariotti maintaining his jobs at the two media companies.

Multiple sources at ESPN have confirmed to me that Mariotti is finished at the network. The only remaining question in Bristol regarding Mariotti is how company executives will handle the release of the news. Mariotti is a contract employee at ESPN, meaning he’s paid per appearance and has no binding contract with the network for future work.

Without Mariotti under contract, one could make the argument that ESPN is under no obligation to do any more than what it did yesterday regarding Mariotti. ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz said after Mariotti’s plea bargain, “We have no current plans to use him at this time.

“At this time” does leave the door cracked, but I’ve been told that Mariotti will not return to Around The Horn nor appear on any ESPN production in the future.

AOL Fanhouse though is, from what I’ve been told, taking a different tack on Mariotti’s future employ. Read more…

Mariotti Plea Bargains, Remains Benched By ESPN

Today in Los Angeles Superior Court, ESPN Around the Horn commentator and AOL Fanhouse columnist Jay Mariotti pleaded no contest, which has the effect of a guilty plea, to a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence against his girlfriend in exchange for the L.A. City Attorney dropping six additional charges against him stemming from his August 21 domestic violence arrest in Los Angeles.

Jay Mariotti

In other words, Mariotti did not contest that he committed domestic violence against his girlfriend on the night in question.

Mariotti’s attorney Nick Hanna said of the plea bargain, “Today’s resolution — a no contest plea to a low-level misdemeanor with all of the other charges dismissed — ends the matter once and for all.

An L.A. law enforcement source very familiar with the case told me today that Hanna’s comment was a misrepresentation of the seriousness of the charge that Mariotti did not contest.

Jay Mariotti Criminal Complaint

You can read about the extent of the charges against Mariotti in the original criminal complaint filed by the L.A. City Attorney here.
Read more…