Sharon Matthews — Deputy Managing Editor of Originals and Vice President of L.A. Times Studios
Sharon Matthews is the deputy managing editor of Originals and vice president of L.A. Times Studios. With more than 25 years of experience in broadcast, television, film, digital and print media, she sets and oversees Times strategy, development, production and integration of original content for unscripted and scripted series and studio shows.
Before joining The Times in October 2022, Matthews was a senior director of originals for Andscape (formerly known as the Undefeated). Matthews expanded its digital storytelling platform into a multimedia video storytelling division of the Walt Disney Co., developing and producing more than 20 specials. Highlights include the Emmy-nominated special “The Stop: Living, Driving and Dying While Black,” an examination of the experiences Black Americans have with law enforcement and the long-lasting impact these interactions have on African American communities. She also collaborated with Grammy-nominated and Golden Globe winner Andra Day on “Rise Up” and teamed up with Oscar winner Common on “The N-Word,” an original special shot at the 16th Street Baptist Church. Other works include “Unapologetic,” which brought Black female athletes’ challenges and triumphs into the limelight; “Time for Change: We Won’t Be Defeated,” a one-hour special featuring well-respected ESPN anchors, analysts, contributors and authors who shine a light on the Black athletes’ experiences with injustice; and “A Room of Our Own,” which explores the connection that Black athletes have with music and the impact of that association in powering social movements. Matthews served as an executive producer on “Tiger Woods: America’s Son,” an in-depth look at Woods’ complex racial identity and how he became the first African American golfer to win a major tournament at the Masters in 1997. In 2021, she led the development and production of the award-winning special “The March on Washington: Keepers of the Dream,” a one-hour documentary tracing the uncensored journey of the civil rights movement through the eyes of the heroes in partnership with National Geographic and available on Hulu.
Before joining ESPN in 2001, Matthews spent six years at NBA TV Canada, launching original content, scheduling and programming for the specialty channel, in addition to spearheading the production of its magazine shows, documentaries and promos. She also traveled on the Canadian prime minister’s plane to bring the Stanley Cup to the NATO base in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
In 2021, Matthews led the launch of the Undefeated on ESPN+ and the expansion of the Black History Always collection on ESPN+, nine documentary films by nine diverse creators sharing stories of Black resilience, joy and excellence beyond the 28 days of February. During her 15 years at ESPN and the Walt Disney Co., she successfully recruited and managed an abundance of producers, directors, editors and production personnel, building dynamic teams from the ground up. She is a master at nurturing creativity and bringing together teams that drive impactful storytelling. During her tenure, Matthews spearheaded “We the Fans,” a multiplatform storytelling project following the stories of the Chicago Bears faithful of Section 250 in Soldier Field. She also produced original programming for numerous ESPN Studio Shows, including “SportsCenter,” “Outside the Lines,” “College Gameday” and “SC Featured.”
Matthews is a decorated Emmy-winning producer with more than three dozen industry awards, including the Edward R. Murrow Outstanding Journalism Award for her short film “Marko Cheseto: Running for His Life.” She is a 28-time New York Festivals gold medalist, the recipient of two Cablefax Trailer Awards and a National Headliner Award. Her original ESPN feature “We the Fans — Dallas” won the NLGJA Award for Excellence in Journalism.
Matthews advocates for equality, inclusion and diversity in technology and storytelling. She has participated as a featured panelist at the ESPNW summit, addressing many issues Black women face in the sports and media industries. Born in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, she is a graduate of York University and is married to Marcus Matthews, a Howard University graduate.