Kevin Merida, most recently managing editor of The Washington Post, has been named editor of ESPN’s The Undefeated. Merida had been with WaPo for just over two decades.
In a memo to staffers, WaPo executive editor Martin Baron praised Merida. “He sees journalistic possibilities when the rest of us are blind to them,” wrote Baron. “He is a wise and trusted counselor to legions of Post journalists – and journalists throughout the country. He played a central role in helping The Post build a talented, diverse staff. He has high expectations of everyone, especially himself. Above all, he is a man of abundant generosity and humanity.”
Merida has a tough job ahead of him. Plenty has been written about The Undefeated (aka “black Grantland”), and most of it has not been good. Jason Whitlock, who left ESPN earlier this month, was the The Undefeated’s original editor, but he was demoted when it became apparent he wasn’t the right man for the job.
Despite all the drama, Merida is a strong hire by ESPN, so we wouldn’t be surprised if he makes The Undefeated a site worth reading.