Washington Post’s Kevin Merida Heading to ESPN

The rumors turned out to be true.

Washington Post managing editor Kevin Merida is leaving WaPo for ESPN, where he’ll be a senior vice president and editor in chief of The Undefeated, a site over two years in the making that will focus on the intersection of race and sports.

When Jason Whitlock, who was the site’s founding editor in chief, was removed from that post in June, a move that left the site without a permanent leader, some questioned whether it would ever make it past the incubation stage.

It’s now in Merida’s hands.

“Over the past several weeks, so many of you, having heard that Kevin Merida was considering a job at another news organization, have urged him to stay. Insisted he stay, in fact,” begins WaPo’s executive editor Martin Baron in a note to staff. “I’ve been doing the same. I’m sad to report that Kevin is leaving us all profoundly disappointed.”

The 22-year WaPo vet’s last day at the paper is Oct. 30.