Crain’s managing editor to join ESPN’s ‘The Undefeated’

Steve Reiss announced his resignation Tuesday as managing editor of Crain’s Chicago Business to join ESPN for the highly anticipated relaunch of its digital property focusing on sports, race and culture.

Starting in late February, Reiss will serve as deputy editor of The Undefeated, where he will oversee narrative and enterprise reporting for the ESPN spinoff, which had a rocky startup under former top editor Jason Whitlock.

Steve Reiss

Steve Reiss

“It will be a multi-armed enterprise with a website, events, lecture series, etc. that we hope will take full advantage of the resources not only of ESPN, but also have collaborations with ABC and Disney,” Reiss said.

Reiss joined Crain’s in 2012 after more than two decades at the Washington Post, where he rose to enterprise editor. An Ohio native and graduate of Princeton University, he previously worked as a reporter and editor at the Miami Herald.

The move will reunite Reiss with Kevin Merida, former managing editor of the Washington Post, who now is senior vice president at ESPN in charge of The Undefeated. Merida was named to succeed Whitlock last October.

Michael Arndt, editor of Crain’s Chicago Business, said he plans to fill the position of managing editor as soon as possible. “Steve did a lot at Crain’s,” Arndt said. “I'll depend on his successor to do just as much.”