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County Native Tapped As ESPNNewYork Web site Editor

ESPNNewYork.com, the latest edition of ESPN’s network of local sites and newest destination for New York sports news and information, will be launched under the day-to-day editorial leadership of new executive editor Leon Carter, an Alton native, a 1977 graduate of Halifax County Senior High School and a news veteran with over 24 years of experience with the N.Y. sports coverage.

He most recently served as sports editor for the New York Daily News and previously with Newsday.  He is an award-winning editor who has covered the N.Y. area sports scene since 1984.
However, Carter said he discovered his passion for writing and journalism while attending high school in Halifax.

Carter said his career started at the high school working on the yearbook and “Star” student newspaper with advisor Richard Fitz providing early inspiration.

“He encouraged me to write so many years ago,” Carter said.  “This was something I got excited about at an early age, and it continues today.”

In 2009, Carter was honored with the Legacy Award from the National Association of Black Journalists for his efforts promoting diversity in the newsroom and guiding the careers of more than 250 minority journalists over the past 16 years. 

He co-founded and continues to instruct at the Sports Journalism Institute, an intensive nine-week training and internship program for aspiring minority journalists held every summer since 1993.

Carter said he is very proud of the accomplishments of the New York Daily News sports section during his tenure noting that the publication won numerous awards and was on the forefront of covering the steroid scandal that plagues professional baseball.

“Now this is a new opportunity at ESPN,” Carter said.  “I take 20 years of sports knowledge.  Try to produce coverage that New Yorkers are going to stop for and come back the next day.
“I’m very excited, I’ve been at ESPN three weeks,” said Carter.  “The big day is midnight Thursday to launch the new site.  We’ve been working around the clock.” 

Carter explained the site will have a beat writer and blogger for all the pro teams in N.Y., as well as a columnist and writers covering colleges and soccer and eventually high schools. 
“We want this to be a destination,” Carter said, adding, “If you’re a Yankees fan in South Boston you can log on.”

Rob King, vice president and editor-in-chief, ESPN.com, said the organization is excited to have Carter on board.

“New York is one of the world’s greatest sports cities, home to one of most passionate fan bases and some of the most storied franchises in sports,” said Rob King, vice president and editor-in-chief, ESPN.com.  “Leon is a veteran of the NY media world who truly understands the N.Y. area sports landscape.  His leadership will drive the editorial direction of ESPNNewYork.com and build a sports site for true N.Y. sports fans.”

The site is continuing the process of hiring reporters and writers to bring their voices and daily coverage of area teams and sports to fans via words, video and audio content. 

Additionally, ESPNNewYork.com will feature contributions from veteran ESPN reporters and writers connected closely to New York, who will provide original content on New York sports topics.

Getting from Halifax County to running a major sports Web site is something Carter is proud of.

He said, “It shows what hard work can do, and I love what I do.  I try to bring that joy and passion to others.”

Carter is the son of John and the late Mary Carter.