- Former Charlotte Observer journalist Mike McCray joins as senior editor for daily digital content
- Erik Horne arrives from The Athletic to serve as senior editor for sports
As part of its expansion and commitment to multidimensional content on the intersections of sports, race and culture, The Undefeated has added two experienced journalists as senior editors at the ESPN media platform.
Mike McCray joined The Undefeated from The Charlotte Observer, where he worked on audience growth and retention for the North Carolina-based media outlet from 2018. At The Undefeated, he will be responsible for the day-to-day content on the website, editing content, and a leadership role in implementing the project’s research and analytics strategy. McCray will report to managing editor Monique Jones.
Erik Horne, a news editor at The Athletic in Oklahoma City for the past two years, joins The Undefeated as a senior editor for sports, reporting directly to the platform’s deputy editor for sports Ed Guzman.
“I am very pleased to welcome Mike and Erik – two tremendously talented journalists – to the team,” said Raina Kelley, ESPN Vice President and Editor-in-Chief, The Undefeated. “Their experience, creativity and innovation within the profession will expand our gaze on Black experience across sports, culture, fashion, and everything.”
McCray, a native of Charlotte, N.C., is a 2009 journalism and mass communication graduate from North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro. His tenure at The Charlotte Observer included working on the team responsible for elevating journalism across McClatchy newsrooms in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Mississippi. McCray’s credit includes award-winning “CARRUTH,” which won Sports Illustrated’s 2018 Best Podcast, and “Brooklyn: How A Black Community Was Erased from Uptown Charlotte,” which earned the Observer its first regional Emmy nomination.
Prior to the Observer, McCray was engagement editor at The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, leading social media strategy on flagship accounts. He also served as social media editor at the Dallas Morning News, highlighted by 2017 Pulitzer Prize Finalist in Breaking News Reporting earned by the paper; and a stint at The Fayetteville Observer.
Horne was the web editor and producer at NewsOK.com, the digital arm for The Oklahoman – the leading news outlet in Oklahoma – from 2013-2015, covering Oklahoma high school sports, the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder and college sports at the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University. He then covered the Thunder from 2015-2019 for The Oklahoman as a beat writer. He has also worked at SCORE Atlanta – a leading digital platform for high school sports in Atlanta – and The Daily Ardmoreite, a Gannett newspaper in Ardmore, Okla.
The Undefeated is ESPN’s multiplatform content initiative exploring the intersection of sports, race and culture. The digital hub, TheUndefeated.com, launched in May 2016, combines innovative long-form and short-form storytelling, investigation, original reporting, and provocative commentary to enlighten and entertain African Americans and sports fans seeking a deeper understanding of Black athletes, culture and related issues.
In addition to its cutting-edge content, The Undefeated seeks to be a thought-leader on race, sports, and culture in the country – convening insightful forums to discuss and debate topical issues affecting sports and race in America.
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