Mitra Kalita, the managing editor charged with bringing a digital renaissance to the Los Angeles Times newsroom, is leaving the newspaper after slightly more than a year.

She will become vice president of programming at CNN, which has lately staffed up its ranks to fuel a buildout of its digital presence and coverage of the 2016 presidential election.

In a memo to the staff of the Los Angeles Times, Kalita attributes her departure to "a number of personal reasons, chief among them...aging parents."

Serving as a managing editor of this storied institution has been among the greatest honors of my life.

I was brought here to lead editorial strategy and to continue to transform the newsroom. The truth is I learned so much more from all of you. This place has experts on everything, from trade and tacos to quake fault lines and the box position on B.B. King’s guitar. You recommended nannies and pediatricians, donut shops and dosa places. You made us feel at home. For that, I want to thank you.

Kalita's departure comes as Tribune Publishing, the parent company of the Los Angeles Times, is fending off a takeover bid from the newspaper company Gannett.

News of Kalita's departure was reported first by POLITICO Media. Kalita is an adjunct faculty member at The Poynter Institute.

Here's Kalita's memo:

Colleagues,

I won’t bury the lede: June 10 will be my last day at The Los Angeles Times. My family and I are moving back to New York City for a number of personal reasons, chief among them are our aging parents.

Serving as a managing editor of this storied institution has been among the greatest honors of my life.

I was brought here to lead editorial strategy and to continue to transform the newsroom. The truth is I learned so much more from all of you. This place has experts on everything, from trade and tacos to quake fault lines and the box position on B.B. King’s guitar. You recommended nannies and pediatricians, donut shops and dosa places. You made us feel at home. For that, I want to thank you.

We should feel proud of what we've all achieved over the last year:

· Record traffic growth; unique visitors have been consistently over 50 million for the last few months

· Huge audiences on stories that really matter, that define us, that challenge perceptions, that change the world

· Creative storytelling is our first reaction to news, as is involving our audience

· We continued to recognize our readers are omnivorous; we put punk rock and Beyonce on the front page. We made Somalia and Japanese ghost ships go viral.

· Our newsroom is now 33% people of color, up significantly from a year ago, a statistic which leads newsrooms across America.

Your smarts, creativity and commitment to this institution got us here. To the people who care deeply about this sprawling metropolis, continue to take heart in the fact that The Times remains the glue that binds, informs, entertains and connects. Nobody can take that away; nobody can buy that. It has been built, refined, updated -- and it must continue to be.

The work obviously goes on. Davan and our masthead have been committed to driving our newsroom’s digital-first agenda and the journalism that is at the core of our brand and identity and value. I am ever grateful to him, and all he does to protect the newsroom and produce high quality journalism.

L.A.’s poet laureate Luis Rodriguez recently said of the city, “All these palm trees are so strong, the winds and they hang in there. The people are like that.”

You really are. Your strength will continue to inspire me.

Best,
Mitra

And here's the newsroom memo from Davan Maharaj, the editor and publisher of the Los Angeles Times:

Colleagues,

I'm sad to announce that Mitra Kalita, one of our managing editors, has been lured back home to New York with an offer she felt she couldn't refuse: vice president of programming at CNN.

Mitra’s time with us has been short but her contributions will be lasting. She worked with colleagues throughout the newsroom to bring more readers to our journalism — not with shortcuts and shopworn tricks, but by finding ways to connect meaningfully with readers on topics that stirred their passions. We all learned Mitra’s mantra: the most successful digital stories are those that are original, genuine and “felt."

The audience on latimes.com has nearly doubled in the last year — to nearly 60 million unique visitors a month. Our traffic from social media has also grown; now more than half our readers find us on mobile. Our newsroom is now more diverse; more than a third are people of color, up significantly from a year ago — a statistic that puts us ahead of every large newsroom in the nation. Mitra played a significant role in all these achievements.

I know that each of you, like me, will be sorry to see her leave The Times. But it isn’t surprising that CNN offered her a top position. Mitra’s skills have been fiercely sought after in our industry. Earlier this month, the New York Observer listed her among the top 10 most poachable news executives.

The good news for The Times is that we have built a deep and talented team over the past year, which has helped advance our digital success. With our team in place, I am confident we can continue this progress. Indeed, we will continue innovating to keep serving our readers with great journalism in the digital age, through the stories you report and share, the videos you shoot and edit, the engaging graphics you create and the headlines you write and rewrite … and rewrite.

For Mitra, it will be a homecoming. Her family is on the East Coast, and she has deep roots in New York -- earning the moniker 'The Queen of Queens' at her last employer, Quartz.

We will miss Mitra, but are happy that she will reunite with her parents and are excited to watch what she does at CNN. Please join me in wishing her the best in her new venture.

--Davan

And here's a memo from Meredith Artley, the editor in chief of CNN Digital.

Everyone, fantastic news to share:

S. Mitra Kalita is joining CNN as our new VP of Digital Programming.

This is a new executive role, strategically leading the effort to creatively share our essential journalism across an ever-exploding array of platforms, 24-7.

Three teams report into Mitra: Jeff Green’s News & Alerting team, Amy Cox’s Projects & Initiatives team, and the new Mobile & Off-Platform team which she will be hiring into.

Beyond the leadership of those teams, Mitra will be a key leader for CNN on matters of storytelling and how we collectively reach and dazzle chosen audiences around the world.

Mitra joins us from the Los Angeles Times, where she is finishing up her role as Managing Editor there. Before that, she was the executive editor of Quartz. She's also served time at the Wall Street Journal, Mint and the Washington Post. She’s written a few books, taught a few courses and served as the president of the South Asian Journalists Association.

So that covers the job and her bio. What you really need to know about Mitra is that she is an admired and inspiring leader, a journalist's journalist in the most modern of ways. She is a champion for stories and people that make an impact, for diversity in its many forms and for creativity and experimentation. She’s going to be a phenomenal leader and partner for CNN’s people and teams worldwide. For more about her, in her own words, check out this wonderfully atypical press release.

She and her family will move from Los Angeles to NYC where rumor has it she will welcomed back to her beloved Queens with a ticker tape parade.

She'll start in late June/early July.

-Meredith