Press Release

Posted by Kristie Chong-Adler on December 9, 2011

Don Van Natta Jr. Named Senior Writer, ESPN Digital and Print Media

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Joins line-up of new cross-platform contributors to ESPN.com, ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Radio, TV and more

ESPN has announced that Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and New York Times best-selling author Don Van Natta Jr. has signed on to join the investigative reporting team as Senior Writer, ESPN Digital and Print Media.  Van Natta will begin reporting for ESPN on January 1 based out of Miami.

“Having a well-respected, veteran investigative reporter like Don Van Natta on board is a testament to the commitment ESPN has made to quality cross-platform journalism,” said Rob King, Senior Vice President, Editorial, ESPN Digital and Print Media.  “Don’s hiring is one of many that we’ve made in just the past few months, and all of them – including Kristi Dosh, Michele Steele and Kate Fagan – have exemplified the talent we’re looking for in multimedia news reporters.”

Most recently, Van Natta was a national correspondent for The New York Times.  During his sixteen years with the newspaper, he was a contributor to two Pulitzer Prize winning teams.  In April 2002, Van Natta was a member of a nine-reporter team awarded for explanatory reporting for coverage of the worldwide terror threat posed by the Al Qaeda network.  He was also a member of a six-reporter team in the newspaper’s Washington bureau that was awarded for national reporting for a series of articles that disclosed the corporate sale of American technology to China, with U.S. government approval despite security risks.  Van Natta also worked for seven years as a member of The Times’ investigative staff, and he served for three years as an investigative correspondent based in The Times’s London bureau.

Prior to The Times, Van Natta spent eight years at The Miami Herald, where he was part of a team of reporters that won the Pulitzer Prize for public service in 1993 for coverage of Hurricane Andrew and its aftermath.  He was also a member of The Herald’s three-person investigative team, where he won numerous regional and national awards for writing and reporting.

Van Natta is the author of “Wonder Girl: The Magnificent Sporting Life of Babe Didrikson Zaharias,” New York Times bestseller “First Off the Tee:  Presidential Hackers, Duffers, and Cheaters from Taft to Bush,” and the co-author – with former Times investigative reporter Jeff Gerth – of New York Times bestseller “Her Way: The Hopes and Ambitions of Hillary Rodham Clinton.”  He is currently working on two new books.  The first, due out in 2013, will be about the News of the World phone-hacking scandal with New York Times London correspondent Sarah Lyall.  The second, to be published in 2015, is a biography of legendary American football coach Sid Gillman.

A 1986 graduate of Boston University, Van Natta served as editor-in-chief of The Daily Free Press, the independent student newspaper, for three semesters.  While he served as its editor, the Free Press won the All-American citation and other national collegiate journalism awards.  He is also the winner of Boston University’s Scarlet Key award, which is given to student leaders.

Van Natta’s announcement comes on the heels of a number or recent hires added to ESPN’s cross-platform coverage.  They include:

Kristi Dosh, who began in late October, is the lead voice in ESPN’s sports business reporting for digital and print media.  Prior to joining ESPN, Dosh was a practicing attorney and sports business analyst for SportsMoney on Forbes.com, Comcast Sports Southeast and The Pulse Network.  She is also the founder of BusinessofCollegeSports.com, a nationally-recognized source for news and analysis of the business of college sports.  Her first book, “Balancing Baseball: How Collective Bargaining Has Changed the Major Leagues” is due out in 2012.

Michele Steele will also be joining ESPN as on-air talent beginning December 12.  Steele joins ESPN after four years at Bloomberg TV, where she most recently served as sports business reporter for the network.  In that role, she reported daily on all four major team leagues in the U.S., in addition to tennis, golf and college football and basketball.  She was also a senior reporter for Forbes video on-demand service and a regular contributor to Forbes on Fox.

Kate Fagan, most recently the 76ers beat writer for The Philadelphia Inquirer, will join ESPN beginning January 3 as columnist for espnW.  During her time at The Inquirer, Fagan has expanded her coverage outside the print edition to include real-time blogging, live chats, photos and video.  Her writing has won numerous awards in the features, columns, and projects categories from the New York State Press Association, Suburban Newspapers of America, the Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) and others.  Fagan attended the University of Colorado on a basketball scholarship.  During her time at CU, the Buffaloes advanced to four straight NCAA Tournaments and the Elite Eight.

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