ESPN The Magazine’s Raina Kelley Named Managing Editor for The Undefeated

ESPN DigitalThe Undefeated

ESPN The Magazine’s Raina Kelley Named Managing Editor for The Undefeated

Photo of Raina Kelley

Raina Kelley, a deputy editor at ESPN The Magazine, has been named managing editor for “The Undefeated,” ESPN’s upcoming site that will feature in-depth reporting, commentary and insight on race and culture through the lens of sports. Kelley will oversee the site’s day-to-day coverage and help develop new opportunities. She will report directly to Kevin Merida, ESPN Senior Vice President and editor-in-chief for “The Undefeated.”

Kelley, who was promoted to deputy editor at ESPN The Magazine in March 2015, was part of the senior editorial leadership team responsible for successfully merging ESPN’s print and digital content units under one umbrella. In her current role, she is a leading driver of ESPN’s long-form journalism across different platforms (print, digital and audio-visual) and works closely with some of the company’s leading storytellers.

“Raina is an enormously creative editor with a strong sense of how to tell a story,” Merida said. “I am delighted to have her as managing editor of The Undefeated, and look forward to working with her to build something spectacular.”

Kelley’s Bio:

Kelley joined ESPN in May 2011 as a senior editor at ESPN The Magazine responsible for the publication’s coverage of the National Football League, tennis, action sports, the Olympics and ESPN Enterprise Unit.

Previous to ESPN, Kelley was a writer for Newsweek magazine where she penned a column on American culture, usually centered around issues of race, gender and politics for the magazine, and Newsweek/Daily Beast. She joined Newsweek in 2003 as an associate editor and left as a staff writer in 2011. While at Newsweek, she appeared on numerous television programs to discuss her cultural criticism including the Charlie Rose Show, Good Morning America, The Today Show and CNN’s American Morning.

The 2008 Presidential campaign and eventual election of America’s first African American President offered Kelley a unique opportunity to delve into thought-provoking commentary and experiential writing about race in America. At Newsweek, she won a number of NY NABJ awards for her work on race and culture and was a 2010 Newswomen’s Club of NY Front Page Award winner for her contribution to a package entitled “The Beauty Advantage.”

A 1992 graduate of theater arts from Yale University, Kelley started her professional career as a member of the literary staff at the Aboutface Theater Company (AFTC).

About The Undefeated:

“The Undefeated” ( is ESPN’s new content initiative focused on the intersection of sports, race and culture. When launched, “The Undefeated” will be a digital hub for impactful journalism through opinion-forming storytelling on African Americans/multicultural athletes and the sports they play. It will also serve as a thought leader via in-depth commentary and insightful reporting on issues relating to race in America and beyond.


Mac Nwulu

I joined ESPN in 1998 and since then, it's been a great experience managing PR and communications for a range of ESPN initiatives and properties over the years. I am currently focused on soccer and The Undefeated, ESPN’s site focusing on sports, race and urban culture and how they intersect.
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