Digital Newstand: ESPN Nabs Pulitzer-Winning Fainaru, NBC Taps Steve Davis for ProSoccerTalk

Both ESPN and NBC Sports Group announced major additions to their digital editorial staffs this week with ESPN bringing aboard Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Steve Fainaru as a Senior Writer and NBC Sports Group selecting veteran soccer journalist Steve Davis as a featured writer for ProSoccerTalk on NBCSports.com, which launched on March 7.

Fainaru Joins World Wide Leader
Fainaru has joined ESPN’s enterprise and investigative reporting team as Senior Writer, ESPN Digital and Print Media.  His work will be seen across all ESPN platforms, including ESPN.com, ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Radio, and TV. His hiring marks the second Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist to join ESPN in the past three months, following Don Van Natta’s hiring in December 2011.

“The quality and depth of Steve Fainaru’s work will be a welcome addition to ESPN’s investigative reporting team,” said Rob King, Senior Vice President, Editorial, ESPN Digital and Print Media.  “His background in both print and online journalism strengthens the commitment we are making to cross-platform reporting.”

Fainaru in 2010 helped launch The Bay Citizen, an award-winning online news organization based in San Francisco.  Fainaru, who will remain based in California, served as the publication’s managing editor for news and editor-in-chief.

He previously worked 10 years for The Washington Post,  where he served as an investigative reporter in sports, covered the war on terrorism, and spent five years on the newspaper’s foreign staff, primarily covering the Iraq War.  His series on private security contractors in Iraq won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting and the Overseas Press Club’s Hal Boyle Award for best newspaper or wire-service reporting from abroad.  Fainaru was also a Pulitzer finalist in 2006 for his articles on the deadly violence faced by U.S. troops as the insurgency in Iraq intensified.

Earlier, Fainaru worked 11 years at The Boston Globe, covering the Boston Red Sox and Wall Street and serving three years as the newspaper’s Latin America Bureau Chief.  His sports coverage for the Globe and the Post earned four first-place finishes in the Associated Press Sports Editors competition.

Fainaru graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism and received a master’s degree from the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs.  He is the author of two books: Big Boy Rules: America’s Mercenaries in Iraq and The Duke of Havana: Baseball, Cuba and the Search for the American Dream.

NBC’s Newly Launched ProSoccerTalk to Feature Davis
Davis, a soccer journalist for more than two decades, will contribute regular posts and provide video reports on ProSoccerTalk at to NBCSports.com, which launched last week. He is expected to be an occasional guest onNBC SportsTalk, the daily hour-long news and information show the new NBC Sports Network.

“Even if I wasn’t involved, I love what ProSoccerTalk is all about,” says Davis. “I’d look at it every day. But then to be involved, not only in generating the content, but being on the front end and influencing creation of it all … well, I can’t possibly be more excited. A few others have nibbled around the edges of what we’re trying to do here, but we’re gonna bite right into the gooey center of this thing.”

“NBCSports.com has enjoyed great success with our “SportsTalk” platform, led by Mike Florio and ProFootballTalk. We are excited to have Steve join the franchise and bring his knowledge, passion, irreverence and style to launch our newest “SportsTalk” platformProSoccerTalk on NBCSports.com,” said Kevin Monaghan, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Digital Media, NBCSports.com “ProSoccerTalk will focus on the MLS, but will also cover the big news in soccer – US National Teams, Euro 2012, World Cup Qualifying, Champions’ League as well as the world’s top soccer stars, stories & pro leagues.”

Davis has spent more than two decades as one of the country’s most respected soccer journalists. He has covered Major League Soccer, since its inception in 1996, for the Dallas Morning News (1996-2006), ESPNSoccernet (2006-2009) and SI.com (2009-2011), in addition to being a regular contributor to MLSSoccer.com, as well as his own (former) blog, Daily Soccer Fix. In addition to covering MLS, Davis has written extensively about international soccer, and has covered every World Cup since 1994.