Kevin Merida, the executive editor of the Los Angeles Times, announced Tuesday that he is stepping down after a less than three-year tenure.

“Today, with a heavy heart, I announce that I am leaving The Times,” Merida wrote to the staff on Tuesday. “I made the decision in consultation with Patrick, after considerable soul-searching about my career at this stage and how I can best be of value to the profession I love.”

“I am proud of what we accomplished together during my tenure here, and grateful to Patrick Soon-Shiong and family for the opportunity to help transform The Times into a modern, innovative news media company for a new generation of consumers,” he continued. 

“We’ve made tremendous progress toward that goal, and I am hopeful that progress will continue,” Merida said.

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Merida joined the newspaper, which is owned by Patrick and Michele Soon-Shiong, in June 2021.

The 67-year-old previously led an ESPN team focused on race, culture and sport, but spent most of his career at The Washington Post.

The Times won three Pulitzer Prizes under Merida’s leadership.

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His departure comes as the newspaper also faced struggles, such as missing its digital subscribers’ goal.

“Our commitment to the L.A. Times and its mission has not wavered since the inception of our acquisition,” Soon-Shiong wrote in a note to staffers. “However, given the persistent challenges we face, it is now imperative that we all work together to build a sustainable business that allows for growth and innovation of the L.A. Times and L.A. Times Studios in order to achieve our vision.”

Kevin Merida speaks on stage at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books

In a statement to Fox News Digital, The LA Times Guild, the paper’s union, wished Merida well, calling him “a smart and thoughtful leader under extraordinarily difficult circumstances.”

“Kevin Merida has been a smart and thoughtful leader under extraordinarily difficult circumstances. We wish him the best as he steps down,” the union said.

“As members of the L.A. Times Guild Unit Council, we are eager to assist Dr. Soon-Shiong and Ms. Chan as they search for a successor — one who can bring vision and clarity to The Times in the months and years ahead,” they said.

Soon-Shiong said that he and leaders in the newsroom would look at candidates inside and outside the company to replace Merida.

Kevin Merida and Donna Britt attend the 2022 Vanity Fair Oscar Party

The Los Angeles Times did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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