S. Mitra Kalita, senior vice president of CNN Digital, will join The Philadelphia Inquirer’s board on Nov. 15, Inquirer publisher and CEO Elizabeth H. Hughes said Monday.
Kalita will replace Susan Goldberg, the top editor of National Geographic, who stepped down from the board.
Kalita joined CNN Digital in 2016, and oversees the national news, breaking news, programming, opinion, and features teams. She led the launch of Live Story, a tool that helps audiences follow stories in real time.
Kalita previously served as managing editor for editorial strategy at the Los Angeles Times. During her year there, she helped the website (latimes.com) increase traffic to nearly 60 million unique visitors a month.
She was a founding editor of Mint, a business newspaper in New Delhi, India, and has previously worked for Quartz, the Washington Post, Newsday, and the Associated Press. Kalita also launched Epicenter-NYC, a newsletter to help New Yorkers get through the pandemic.
“It is a great privilege to join The Inquirer board and help advance its growth through platforms and products that serve many communities,” Kalita said in a news release issued Monday.
“For the past several months, I have been speaking with lots of folks in the community about the history of The Inquirer and how we need to evolve as an institution," Hughes said in an email.
When a board position opened in May, “it was the perfect opportunity to ask for recommendations, and Mitra’s name came up repeatedly,” Hughes added. "We connected, and it quickly became apparent that she has the perfect combination of multi-platform journalism experience and a passion for local news.”
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Kalita was raised in Long Island, Puerto Rico, and New Jersey — and regularly traveled to her grandparents' villages in Assam, India.
She has written two books related to migration and globalization, including Suburban Sahibs, and speaks seven languages.
Kalita will leave CNN Digital after the November election.
Kalita joins Hughes on the board, as well as chairman of the board Josh Kopelman, vice chair Lisa Kabnick, Stephen J. Harmelin, Keith Leaphart, Sunny Rao, Brian Tierney, Neil Vogel, and Richard Worley.
The Philadelphia Inquirer, a public benefit corporation, is the Philadelphia region’s largest media network.
H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest purchased The Inquirer and donated it to the Lenfest Institute for Journalism, placing Philadelphia at the epicenter of a national effort to protect and transform local news in the digital age. The Inquirer is now the largest newspaper in the United States operated as a public-benefit corporation.
Currently, The Inquirer has 45,000 paid digital subscribers, and 10.5 million average monthly unique visitors on its website.