The Hollywood Reporter (THR) is expanding its music coverage hiring Mesfin Fekadu as its Senior Music Editor.
An award-winning journalist who spent 13 years at The Associated Press (AP), Fekadu will oversee THR‘s music coverage for the brand’s website and magazine. Fekadu will start his new position on December 5th and report into David Katz, THR’s Executive Editor.
“Mesfin is the one of the best music journalists in the business, regularly breaking news while also writing insightful profiles on the most dynamic artists in the field, as well as spotlighting key trends within the industry,” said Nekesa Mumbi Moody, THR‘s Editorial Director. “His interest also expands into TV and film. I had the pleasure of working with Mesfin for more than a decade at the Associated Press and watched how he took its music coverage to new heights, and I know he will do the same for The Hollywood Reporter.”
Fekadu, joined the AP in 2008 in the video entertainment department; he later became a music writer in 2012 and music editor in 2014. He was named Senior Journalist in 2019 and left the AP in 2021 to join Netflix to handle written communication campaigns for original films, series and documentaries.
“I am excited to return to journalism, join the talented staff at The Hollywood Reporter and reunite with my former boss and mentor, Nekesa Mumbi Moody,” Fekadu said. “I am looking forward to breaking news on the music beat, giving those in the music world an outlet to share their stories and providing readers with a place to read authentic music news from someone who understands the culture.”
Fekadu was instrumental in leading and expanding the AP’s entertainment reporting, overseeing coverage at the Grammy Awards, Super Bowl, both inaugurations of former U.S. President Barack Obama, New York Fashion Week and more. He has interviewed several titans of the entertainment world, including Beyoncé, Aretha Franklin, Oprah Winfrey, Jay-Z, The Rolling Stones, Taylor Swift, Barbra Streisand, Rihanna, Dave Chappelle and many others.
He regularly broke news on the entertainment and music beats, earning a New York Press Club Award in 2019 for exclusively reporting on the death of Aretha Franklin. His reporting about the ins and outs of the Grammys led to several news breaks; Fekadu recently broke the news that Nicki Minaj’s rap smash, “Super Freaky Girl,” was kicked out of the rap categories and placed in pop.
His work earned him three Los Angeles Press Club Awards, and he landed eight nominations at the 2022 National Entertainment & Arts Journalism Awards, including a bid for online journalist of the year. Fekadu was named a Craig Newmark Philanthropies Fellow for the Society of Features Journalism in 2019; he has sat on the SFJ board since 2020. His alma mater, Saint Peter’s University, presented him with its Rising Star Award this year for “accomplishing a great deal in their time since graduation, continuing to make a difference in their field and showing incredible promise for the future.”