Kevin Merida Kevin Merida (via ESPN)

Kevin Merida, who launched The Undefeated at ESPN nearly a decade ago, reportedly told Los Angeles Times employees in a memo this week that he will step down from his role as top editor.

In the note, Merida told staff that he decided to resign in conjunction with owner Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong “after considerable soul-searching about my career at this stage and how I can best be of value to the profession I love.”

Merida, who is 67, began at the L.A. Times in 2021 after several years at ESPN. There, he ran The Undefeated and was the chair of ESPN’s editorial board.

Prior to his time at Disney, Merida worked for 22 years at the Washington Post. He has written three books on race in America.

“I am happy that I came to L.A. for this exciting challenge during the Covid summer of 2021, and have no regrets,” Merida wrote to staff. “I still believe in The Times and its potential.”

Soon-Shiong sent a separate note to employees.

“I am proud of the L.A. Times’ journalistic integrity, ability to break news rapidly and strong investigative reporting,” Soon-Shiong wrote. “A vibrant future for the L.A. Times, where this organization is self-sustaining and capable of growth, requires new approaches to better engage with our readers and grow new audiences.”

The LA Times has undergone significant upheaval in the past five years. Soon-Shiong bought the company for $500 million in 2018, then sold its sister publication, San Diego Tribune, earlier this year. Reports varied on whether Soon-Shiong might also sell the Times.

Times staffers unionized in late 2019.

One of America’s most historic news outlets now begins a search for a new lead editor.

[Los Angeles Times]

About Brendon Kleen

Brendon is a Media Commentary staff writer at Awful Announcing. He has also covered basketball and sports business at Front Office Sports, SB Nation, Uproxx and more.