The Washington Post Managing Editor Kevin Merida is leaving his job at the end of the month and heading for ESPN, where he will become senior vice president and editor-in-chief of The Undefeated, a digital site that will explore the intersection of sports, race and culture.
The announcement was made Monday by The Washington Post Executive Editor Martin Baron in a memo sent to staff and later posted to the paper's website.
In the memo, Baron said he was "sad" about Merida's departure and that it would be "hard to imagine our newsroom without him." He added:
"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."
According to a February 2014 announcement of his promotion to be the Post's managing editor, Merida has covered Congress, presidential campaigns "as well as stories that called upon his great strengths as a long-form feature writer" among other jobs, the memo said.
As managing editor, he oversaw the paper's many sections, including national, foreign, metro, business, sports, investigations and The Washington Post Magazine.
Merida has been at The Washington Post for 22 years. His last day there is Oct. 30.