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L.A. Times Names Kevin Merida Executive Editor

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When Mr. Merida started at The Undefeated, it was a stalled digital project with an unfortunate staff – a potential release that, even after nearly two years of development, only existed as a website with links to 19 articles.

He got The Undefeated up and running and quickly established his editorial identity. The site’s relevance grew as prominent black athletes embraced activism in the wake of the rise of the social justice movement following the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others.

In his first editorial letter to The Undefeated, Mr. Merida believed the example of his father, Jesse Merida, was someone who refused to be defeated by ubiquitous racism and the limited opportunities that came with it.

His father, he wrote, had a degree in geology from what is now Wichita State University, and he ignored those who advised him to go to school rather than pursue a career in the isolated world of science. In the end, “he made a living as a janitor while he waited for his opportunity,” wrote Merida and was eventually hired as a technician with the US Geological Survey, a job that led to a long career, including with White Explorers with the Smithsonian Institution.

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May 3, 2021, 12:08 p.m. ET

At Disney’s own ESPN, Mr. Merida became a close advisor to Jimmy Pitaro, chairman of the network, and served as chairman of the ESPN editorial team. He also played an important role in the newsroom and helped oversee investigative coverage as well as the television programs “E: 60” and “Outside the Lines”. At the same time he led the standard team.

Mr. Merida, who was born in Wichita, Can., Grew up in the Washington area, where he still lives. He is married to writer Donna Britt, who worked as a reporter and columnist for the Washington Post, USA Today, and the Detroit Free Press.

He studied journalism at Boston University and began his career as a reporter for the Milwaukee Journal. After a decade on the Dallas Morning News, he joined The Post in 1993 as a congressional reporter.

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Robert Dunfee