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Team Player: Investigative Reporter Tisha Thompson and Senior Editor Elaine Teng

“I trust her and her brilliant – absolutely brilliant! – mind in all ways.” – Tisha Thompson on Elaine Teng

ESPN digital senior editor Elaine Teng (Courtesy E. Teng)

In the latest installment of Front Row’s “Team Player” series — where an ESPN personality selects a behind-the-scenes colleague to spotlight – Washington, D.C.-based investigative reporter Tisha Thompson salutes Bristol, Conn.-based ESPN digital senior editor Elaine Teng.

On March 20, Thompson broke a news story that rocked not only the world of baseball but the entire world of sports. The ESPN app headline read “Dodgers fire Shohei Ohtani’s interpreter amid allegation of ‘massive theft.‘”

For months prior to publishing her first story on the scandal and through numerous subsequent pieces as the investigation continues, Thompson has been working side-by-side with Teng, who is an editor in the Investigative and Enterprise Unit led by Chris Buckle, Vice President, ESPN Investigative and Enterprise Journalism.

“Elaine has been my rock throughout our coverage of Ippei Mizuhara and the complex world of illegal bookmaking,” said Thompson. “I trust her and her brilliant – absolutely brilliant! – mind in all ways.

“Over the last few months, she’s worked with me through so many sleepless nights, and we have spent hundreds of hours on the phone brainstorming, questioning, writing, editing and just generally being there for each other,” she said.

Teng grew up in Southern California and came east for college. After starting her career working at political magazines in Washington, D.C., she came to ESPN eight years ago as an editor for ESPN the Magazine. She oversaw the magazine’s coverage of the Olympics, action sports, soccer, tennis and esports, then transitioned to a similar role in digital. Three years ago, she moved over to the investigative team.

Tisha Thompson and SportsCenter anchor Ryan Smith in one of ESPN’s Bristol, Conn., studios. (Courtesty T. Thompson)

“I’ve learned so much from Tisha throughout this whole process,” Teng said.

“We ESPN editors are so lucky to work with so many different reporters with different skillsets and areas of expertise, whether that’s investigative reporters Paula Lavigne and T.J. Quinn, Tim Keown, Jeff Passan and Alden Gonzalez with their deep knowledge and relationships in baseball, or gambling guru David Purdum,” she said.

“I remember a conversation Tisha and I had with David near the beginning of this reporting journey where he was explaining what underground bookies are and how they operate. Can you imagine where we’d be without that?”

“She is a world-class editor and investigative journalist,” said Thompson. “And I’m very, very lucky to call her my friend.”


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