Jason Whitlock replaced as head of ESPN's The Undefeated

Friday June 12th, 2015

Jason Whitlock has been replaced as the head of ESPN website The Undefeated, the company announced Friday. 

The news was first reported by Rich Sandomir of The New York Times

Leon Carter, who joined The Undefeated's staff in January, will take over Whitlock's former role on an interim basis, ESPN said. Whitlock will remain at ESPN as a writer. 

On its website, The Undefeated says it will launch this summer. The website—which Whitlock termed "Black Grantland" in an August 2013 interview with ESPN's Bill Simmons—will purportedly focus on race and sports, with a particular emphasis on black culture.

An April story by Deadspin's Greg Howard revealed the inner-workings of the long-delayed site, including Whitlock's disputes with other editors and an ESPN HR investigation into a firing that found Whitlock “did not behave at all times in accordance with ESPN’s Conduct Policy, which includes an expectation to treat coworkers in a professional, courteous, and respectful manner.”​

The Undefeated published two pieces in February—long features on Charles Barkley and John Wall—​as a preview of content to come.  

Here is ESPN's full announcement

As we continue to move forward in the process of creating The Undefeated – a new ESPN site focusing on race and sports – we have collectively decided to make some structural adjustments that will maximize the skill sets and strengths of our team, leading to the best possible output for the site and for all of ESPN. To that end, Jason Whitlock will now be entirely focused on what he does best: creating distinctive and compelling content, which will live across various ESPN platforms. Jason’s thought-provoking perspective has always been a hallmark of his work and this will allow him to completely devote his time and energy to that. As a result, he will make significant contributions to multiple ESPN entities and programs. Since returning to ESPN, Jason has been instrumental in assembling the foundation of a strong editorial team, formulating the vision for the project and collaborating with our digital product team to develop the blueprint for the site.

Leon Carter – an experienced leader in journalism who officially joined the site in January after leading staffs at the New York Daily News and ESPNNewYork.com – will assume all day-to-day management of the site’s editorial processes and personnel on an interim basis.


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