After nearly 35 years as a sports columnist at The New York Times, William C. “Bill” Rhoden is heading to ESPN’s multiplatform content initiative The Undefeated as editor at large and columnist.
Rhoden will write columns on sports, race and culture at The Undefeated, as well as establish the Rhoden Fellows, a sports journalist internship program that will train aspiring African-American journalists from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
“Through The Undefeated, ESPN has provided me with an unprecedented opportunity to identify, mentor and sponsor talented young journalists from Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” Rhoden stated.
Kevin Merida, ESPN SVP and editor in chief of The Undefeated, added: “We are grateful to have him leading a new initiative at The Undefeated to develop the next generation of Bill Rhodens.”
Rhoden has worked with ESPN since 1989, as as contributor on The Sports Reporters Sunday morning discussion program. The show will end in May after nearly 30 years on ESPN.
Rhoden, who published his final “Sports of the Times” column in July 2016 after running the column for 26 years, joined The New York Times in 1982 as an editor at "The Week In Review" section.
The Undefeated announced that Lisa Wilson will join the team next month as senior editor for sports. She was previously the executive sports editor at The Buffalo News, and is one of the only black female sports editor at a major metro daily.
The Undefeated launched last spring; it aims to explore the intersections of race, sports and culture.
In 2016, Alison Overholt was named the first female editor in chief of ESPN The Magazine.
At the time, the company stated that her appointment was a move to “reflect the diversity of ESPN’s digital leadership.”