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Kevin Merida is leaving the Washington Post for ESPN.
The managing editor, who was reported by Deadspin to be in talks with the sports network, will be a senior vice president and editor-in-chief of The Undefeated, the so-called “Black Grantland” site.
Editor Marty Baron announced the news in a memo to the staff.
“I expect there is not a person in our newsroom, or in our entire organization, who is not heartbroken over this decision, even as we wish Kevin the very best in his new position and know that he will perform brilliantly,” Baron says. “I feel a particular loss. My first appointment after joining this amazing newsroom—about a month after my arrival—was to name Kevin managing editor. He has been a treasured colleague, partner, and friend.”
His last day will be Oct. 30. The full text of the memo is below:
Over the past several weeks, so many of you, having heard that Kevin Merida was considering a job at another news organization, have urged him to stay. Insisted he stay, in fact. I’ve been doing the same.
I’m sad to report that Kevin is leaving us all profoundly disappointed. He has accepted a job as senior vice president at ESPN and editor-in-chief of The Undefeated, a digital site that will explore the intersection of sports, race, and culture.
I expect there is not a person in our newsroom, or in our entire organization, who is not heartbroken over this decision, even as we wish Kevin the very best in his new position and know that he will perform brilliantly.
I feel a particular loss. My first appointment after joining this amazing newsroom – about a month after my arrival — was to name Kevin managing editor. He has been a treasured colleague, partner, and friend.
Kevin is a superb newsman, with consistently sound judgment and an exquisite sense of story. He is a natural leader who provides smart and thoughtful guidance on coverage and conundrums of every type. He sees journalistic possibilities when the rest of us are blind to them. 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.
I am thinking what all of you are thinking: It is hard to imagine our newsroom without him.
I’m not going to go through Kevin’s long history of accomplishments at The Post. It doesn’t seem the right moment to recite his impressive resume. He has been here 22 years, and there would be so much to cover. His influence is everywhere in our newsroom. We are incalculably better for it.
Kevin’s last day will be Friday, October 30. We’ll find a fitting way to celebrate him before he leaves — and to thank him for all he has meant to us.