Kevin Merida – Former Executive Editor

Portrait of former Los Angeles Times Executive Editor Kevin Merida
Former Los Angeles Times Executive Editor Kevin Merida
(Ricardo DeAratanha/Los Angeles Times)

Kevin Merida is the former executive editor of the Los Angeles Times. He took the helm of the largest newsgathering organization in the West in June 2021 and oversaw the newsroom as well as Times Community News and Los Angeles Times en Español. He left The Times in January 2024.

As editor, Merida reorganized the newsroom, creating a successful Fast Break team of nearly three dozen journalists to quickly pounce on stories in order to give its digital editions a greater sense of urgency and scope. The Times in 2023 produced three of the nation’s Top 10 news stories, in terms of engagement, according to the technology firm Chartbeat.

He bolstered news and enterprise coverage in science, environment, entertainment and accountability journalism. He experimented with storytelling innovations to nudge the paper beyond its print roots, including forming a team of social media journalists, called the 404 by LA Times, and De Los, an online news vertical providing news and commentary to engage Latinos “through a shared sense of culture and identity.”


Merida also pushed for greater diversity throughout the newsroom and made key promotions and hires to its leadership as part of that mission.

During his tenure, The Times won three Pulitzer Prizes, including in 2023 for breaking news reporting for its coverage of a leaked audio recording that exposed L.A. City Council members making racist comments and plotting to consolidate power during the redistricting process.

Before joining The Times, Merida was a senior vice president at ESPN and editor in chief of the Undefeated, a multimedia platform that explored the intersections of race, sports and culture. Merida arrived at ESPN in November 2015 and launched the Undefeated in May 2016. Under his leadership, the Undefeated gradually expanded across Walt Disney Co. with a content portfolio that ranged from award-winning journalism to documentaries and television specials, from albums and music videos to live events, digital talk shows and two bestselling children’s books.

During his time at ESPN, he also oversaw the investigative/news enterprise unit, the television shows “E:60” and “Outside the Lines,” and chaired ESPN’s editorial board.

Before joining ESPN, Merida spent 22 years at the Washington Post as a congressional correspondent, national political reporter, longform feature writer, magazine columnist and senior editor in several roles. He led the national staff for four years during the Obama presidency and was managing editor overseeing news and features coverage for nearly three years. During his tenure as managing editor, he helped lead the Post to four Pulitzer Prizes, and the newspaper embarked on a digital transformation that made it one of the fastest growing news organizations in the country.

Prior to the Post, from 1983 to 1993, Merida worked at the Dallas Morning News as a special projects reporter, local political writer, national correspondent based in Washington, White House correspondent covering the George H.W. Bush presidency and assistant managing editor in charge of foreign and national news coverage. In 1990, Merida was part of a Morning News team that was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in explanatory journalism for a special report on the world’s “hidden wars.” Merida began his career at the Milwaukee Journal, where he worked from 1979 to 1983 as a general assignment reporter.


Merida is co-author of “Supreme Discomfort: The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas” and the bestselling “Obama: The Historic Campaign in Photographs.” He is a contributor to and editor of the anthology, “Being a Black Man: At the Corner of Progress and Peril,” based on an award-winning Washington Post series he led.

Merida’s honors include being named Journalist of the Year in 2000 by the National Assn. of Black Journalists, receiving the Missouri Honors Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism in 2018 and receiving NABJ’s Chuck Stone Lifetime Achievement Award in 2020. He is a 1979 graduate of Boston University and of the Summer Program for Minority Journalists at UC Berkeley.

He serves on the Pulitzer Prize Board, the Boston University Board of Trustees and the boards of the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland.

He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, award-winning writer and former Washington Post columnist Donna Britt. They have three sons: actor Darrell Britt-Gibson and screenwriter Justin Britt-Gibson, who also live in L.A., and podcast host and producer Skye Merida.