Journalist and author Ismael Cala tonight spent the last 14 minutes of his primetime show “Cala” on CNN en Español to announce he is leaving the network after 15 years to focus on his personal growth, reinvention and independent projects.
Emphasizing it was a difficult decision to make, an emotional Ismael pointed out his priorities have changed since he began his journalism career.
“News used to be the center of my life. Today, my mission has changed. I’m no longer interested in finding journalism exclusives, but that’s the essence of a program like this.”
He said he’s “closing this cycle” in his life and dedicating the next six months to strengthening Cala Enterprises, a company he founded over four years ago, which currently has over 20 employees, as well as working on his Ismael Cala foundation, which focuses on vocational and leadership youth training.
He’ll be spending his time studying and creating programs, events and books whose purpose is “to improve the quality of life.”
“Mindfulness is my new passion,” he says. “I realize that journalism has been another vehicle for me to find my true mission as a communicator… it is to impact and transform lives through knowledge that generates conscience and emotional and social intelligence to live in harmony and happiness.”
Ismael took the time to thank many of his colleagues by name, and expressed special appreciation and gratitude to CNNE’s SVP and GM Cynthia Hudson for giving him the opportunity to launch his weekday primetime show.
“Why am I leaving? Because the time to retreat is not when others force you, but when you still have the strength and capacity to seize the moment and take a leap into the unknown.”
Saying he negotiated the exit of his contract with CNNE, “leaving the door open,” Ismael says he is already working on three projects with his Cala productions and will return to TV in 2017.
He will continue to collaborate with Univision network, where he started as a “Despierta América” co-host in January of 2015.
“Cala” will continue on the air until July 1, when Ismael hands over the reins to the show’s new host, CNNE colleague Camilo Egaña. Starting that date, the show’s name will change to “Kmilo.”
On its Facebook page, CNNE posted this message:
“Ismael Cala decides to dedicate his career as a writer, conference como escritor, speaker and coach, leaving CNN en Español. We wish him the best!
* The story was updated to include the name of the show once Camilo Egaña takes over.