Michele Steele has signed a new, multiyear contract with ESPN, continuing her role as a Chicago-based general assignment reporter which she has held since joining the network in 2011.
During her years with ESPN, Steele has demonstrated her versatility as a journalist by covering some of the biggest stories in sports both in the Midwest and nationally for SportsCenter, NFL Live, Outside the Lines and ESPN’s digital platforms.
In addition, she has been a studio host, anchoring SportsCenter and OTL, and she has done features for those programs as well as SC Featured, E60 and NFL Countdown.
“The core of what I do is original reporting, adding texture and depth to the games that we all love,” said Steele. “I pride myself in my ability to find and tell original stories that not only challenge us to think – but ask us to feel.
“In a time where we are physically apart from each other, sharing stories that speak to our connections as fans takes on an even greater role,” she said. “While we may live our lives very differently in 2020, the things that bind us never went away.”
Among the national stories she has covered for ESPN: the Robert Kraft case in Florida; the murder trial of former NFL player Aaron Hernandez in Boston; the death of Muhammad Ali; and the devastating injury to Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier.
She has expanded her work within the past year by doing video and written pieces for ESPN’s The Undefeated, including a feature on Tim Anderson of the Chicago White Sox, and most recently, she collaborated with reporter Adam Rittenberg on an in-depth investigative piece for ESPN.com on how Black players were treated within the Iowa football program over the last two decades.
This summer, she has reported from Kansas City Chiefs training camp and the BMW Championship PGA TOUR event, pitched the idea of an animated feature on Tom Brady’s 2020 offseason and wrote and reported a SportsCenter feature on Chicago White Sox fans.
“Our challenge as reporters is to think in innovative and creative ways to meet the demand for sports in this new and unique environment,” she said. “I look forward to continuing to innovate and build alongside the best colleagues in the business for years to come, and I’m very grateful for the opportunity ESPN has presented to me.”
Prior to joining ESPN, Steele was an anchor for Bloomberg Television and the network’s first full-time sports reporter.
Steele is an active member of the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA), the Alliance Francaise and the Young Professionals group of the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Earlier this year, she interviewed ESPN Founder Bill Rasmussen about his collaboration with the MJFF.
In 2019, she was recognized by ESPN in its “Volunteer of the Year” awards among employees for her work with Special Olympics and Unified Sports.
The Chicago native earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Master of Science in journalism from Columbia University.