Emphasizing its commitment to quality journalism, ESPN has re-signed award-winning reporter John Barr to a multiyear contract extension that will include expanded reporting duties across ESPN platforms.
Barr, who is based in the Philadelphia area and joined ESPN in 2003, will continue as part of ESPN’s Enterprise Unit, covering breaking news, investigative and human interest stories for ESPN.com, Outside the Lines and E60. In addition, as part of his expanded duties, Barr will work with ESPN’s bureau group on stories for SportsCenter and other ESPN platforms.
“We’re very pleased to have a journalist with the impeccable credentials of John Barr continuing as part of our team,” said Norby Williamson, ESPN Executive Vice President, Event and Studio Production & Executive Editor. “We look forward to seeing more of his work in the years to come as we remain committed to producing journalism of the highest quality.”
Barr’s decorated career includes two Peabody Awards, the first in 2013 for his work on the NFL concussion crisis and the second in 2019 as part of a team of reporters and producers who reported on the Larry Nassar sexual assault scandal, which led to sweeping changes at USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University. Barr and fellow ESPN reporter Dan Murphy co-authored the 2020 book, Start By Believing which chronicles the Nassar scandal from its beginnings. Barr also was honored with the Edward R. Murrow Award in 2011 for his OTL report on human trafficking and the 2010 World Cup.
Recently, Barr has reported on how sexual assault allegations cloud Yasiel Puig’s future in Major League Baseball. Last year, he produced reports across ESPN platforms on bare-knuckle boxing, a bloody sport that has reemerged from the shadows to become sanctioned in many states. Barr also was the reporter on a 2020 E60 documentary, and accompanying written piece, which revealed new details of the painkiller addiction former star pitcher Roy Halladay battled in the years before his death in a plane crash.
In 2013, Barr and Don Van Natta, Jr., teamed to report on allegations of verbal and physical abuse against his players by Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice. Rice was fired as a result of the reports.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to continue to work with the most talented reporters, producers and editors in the business – teammates who’ve become more than just colleagues but rather lifelong friends,” Barr said. “ESPN consistently produces a remarkable amount of high-quality journalism, from long-form investigative projects to quicker-turn news stories and human interest features and I’m grateful to be part of the team and the tradition.”
A native of London, Ontario, Canada, Barr graduated from Indiana University with a Master’s degree in journalism and from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history/political science.
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