Mitra Kalita is Quartz’ executive editor-at-large

October 29, 2014

Quartz Editor-in-Chief Kevin Delaney announced Wednesday that ideas editor Mitra Kalita will become executive editor-at-large for Quartz, charged with “spearheading projects” that “build up our readership and journalism globally.”

In a memo to Quartz staff (below), Delaney noted Kalita — who was recently named an adjunct faculty member at Poynter — played a “central role” in the creation of the business vertical’s Ideas section and the launch of Quartz India.

In an interview with World News Publishing Focus, Kalita said Quartz is considering expanding to cover other subjects:

We are looking at other markets and other niches but a part of our ethos is driven by this idea that you and I have a lot in common, and might be harried by some of the same factors of life and work. Does that story need to come from a place of geography? Probably not. In some cases geography will be where we expand but in others it’s going to be by obsession or theme areas.

Kalita will be replaced by Paul Smalera, editor of The New York Times opinion app, which is slated to be discontinued at the end of the month. Smalera was also the founding editor of the Times’ Op-Talk site, according to a memo from Delaney announcing his hire (also below).

Hello Quartz –

I’m happy to announce the appointment of Mitra Kalita as Quartz’s executive editor at large, with special responsibility for global expansion and Ideas.

This move reflects Mitra’s central role from Quartz’s beginning through the present, including building up Ideas and launching Quartz India. As many of you know, her contributions extend far beyond that to touch pretty much all aspects of Quartz, including identifying and bringing on many of our talented colleagues.

Since the beginning, Mitra has focused on the people and “the story.” She’s helped us deliver on being a news organization that truly covers the world, while tackling some of the most intimate and challenging issues in our lives and workplaces. Mitra’s wide range of interests is partly what makes her so effective—she knows international news for us to pursue ambitiously when she sees it, such as Modi’s appearance in NYC, and hot button issues that hit home on Facebook, such as the ubiquity of one company’s baby blankets. It goes without saying that Mitra specializes in keeping all of us on our toes.

In her new role, she will spearhead projects that stretch Quartz further and build up our readership and journalism globally. These include new initiatives focused outside of the US. She’ll also continue to work with the Ideas team as we build on its success.

Mitra will continue to work part-time for Quartz and report her (fourth) book through the end of this school year, and return full-time after that.

Please join me in congratulating her.

Best,
Kevin

Hello Quartz –

I’m happy to announce that Paul Smalera will join us as Quartz’s Ideas editor as of November 5.

Paul comes from the New York Times, where he was the founding editor of its Op-Talk site and led the editorial team for the NYT Opinion iPhone app.

Paul is an entrepreneurial, tech-savvy journalist with hands-on experience editing the sort of global commentary that is the core fare of Quartz’s Ideas section. One former colleague describes him as “the real deal” and “very astute about reader platforms and social media, very curious about the world, very savvy as to what readers want.” Since before the launch of Quartz, I’ve hoped for an opening to bring him on to join us.

Paul earlier worked at Reuters, where he was technology editor, product manager for a new content management system, and deputy opinion editor. He also was a senior editor for technology coverage at Fortune and spent seven years as a professional web developer.

Paul’s mandate is to be bold and creative in approaching Ideas, experimenting with the form, approach, and outside contributors we work with. His efforts will build on the work that Mitra, Lauren, and Annalisa have done to make Ideas pieces among the most lively, impactful, and well-read content that we publish.

Please join me in welcoming Paul.

Best,
Kevin