- BuzzFeed Senior Editor Kelley Carter joins as senior writer covering entertainment
- The Washington Post’s Michael A. Fletcher will be a senior writer concentrating on criminal justice, social issues and politics
- The Washington Post’s Soraya Nadia McDonald will serve as a senior culture writer
- ESPN.com columnist Jason Reid named senior NFL writer
Four senior writers have joined the staff of “The Undefeated,” ESPN’s upcoming site that will provide in-depth reporting, commentary and insight on race and culture through the lens of sports. The new additions include Buzzfeed’s Kelley Carter, Michael Fletcher and Soraya Nadia McDonald of The Washington Post, and ESPN.com columnist Jason Reid.
Carter, an award-winning entertainment and pop-culture journalist, will occupy a similar role for ESPN. Fletcher, a Washington Post national economics correspondent, will concentrate on criminal justice, social issues and politics. Over the next year, he will focus on an essay series assessing the historic presidency of Barack Obama. McDonald, arts, entertainment and culture writer for the Washington Post Style section, will cover culture. Reid, a former Washington Post sports columnist, will move from ESPN.com to become The Undefeated’s primary NFL writer, covering topical issues relating to race and culture throughout the league.
“These are all journalists I greatly admire and our readers will love,” said Kevin Merida, ESPN Senior Vice President and Editor-in-Chief of The Undefeated. “They join a talented team already at The Undefeated, which is gaining momentum. I am proud to be associated with them.”
Carter is an entertainment and pop-culture journalist with bylines on the pages of national and international media outlets, including USA Today, Vibe, BuzzFeed, Ebony, Essence, ESPN.com, MTV News, the Chicago Tribune, and the Detroit Free Press. A Michigan State University graduate, Carter’s expertise on music, film, television and topical celebrity news has led to appearances on several TV networks – CNN, E!, Fox News, MSNBC, the TV Guide Channel, and others. As USA Today’s celebrity reporter based in Los Angeles, Carter spearheaded the paper’s coverage of Michael Jackson’s death, funeral and news on the aftermath of his death. She has interviewed some of the country’s top-tier movie and music stars such as Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, George Clooney, Jada Pinkett Smith, Samuel L. Jackson, Denzel Washington, Drew Barrymore, Jamie Foxx, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Sean Combs and more. Kelley also covered entertainment for ESPN.com’s Page 2 and espnW from 2010 to 2013.
Fletcher spent 21 years with The Washington Post, the last seven as a national economics correspondent, writing about unemployment, state and municipal debt, the evolving job market and the auto industry. Previously, he was a White House correspondent for the paper, covering both the Barack Obama and George Bush administrations. He also has written about education and race relations, serving as the Post’s national race relations reporter for five years. Fletcher is co-author of “Supreme Discomfort: The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas,” a critically acclaimed biography published by Doubleday in April 2007 – a book he co-authored with Kevin Merida, editor-in-chief for The Undefeated. Prior to The Washington Post, Fletcher was with the Baltimore Sun for 13 years, covering local schools, city government and state politics.
McDonald covered arts, entertainment and culture for the Washington Post Style section, where she focused on issues surrounding race, gender, and sexuality. In the past year, McDonald contributed to the Post’s successful arts and entertainment coverage with memorable stories ranging from an in-depth look at Iggy Azalea’s music career, an exclusive conversation with comedian David Chappelle about Rachel Dolezal, the Spokane, Wash., NAACP Chapter president who lied about her racial identity, and more. Soraya began her career covering sports for the Boston Globe, the Associated Press, and the Colorado Springs Gazette, among others. She’s also an experienced triathlete and she’s always training for her next race. The North Carolina native received her degree in journalism from Howard University.
Reid joined ESPN in February as an NFL columnist from The Washington Post where he covered the Redskins as a beat reporter and later became a sports columnist for the paper. His work as one of the lead sources for news and information about the Redskins peaked from the team’s pre-Draft scouting and eventual selection of Robert Griffin III in the 2012 NFL Draft, through the quarterback’s first three seasons in the National Football League. Prior to joining the Washington Post in 2007, Reid spent 15 years at The Los Angeles Times where he covered the Dodgers (MLB), Clippers (NBA) and provided college basketball analysis. He began his professional journalism career covering prep sports for the paper. A native New Yorker, Reid received a degree in print journalism from the University of Southern California.
About The Undefeated:
“The Undefeated” (www.theundefeated.com) is ESPN’s new content initiative for exploring the intersections of race, sports and culture. When launched, The Undefeated will be a digital hub for innovative storytelling, original reporting and provocative commentary. Its motto: Not conventional. Never boring.