The Tribune’s managing editor has announced he’ll be leaving the newspaper this summer.

Charles Westmoreland told newsroom staff earlier this month he’d be departing in late June or early July to return to Alaska with his family. He and his family relocated to Columbia from Juneau.

“The great people I’ve been able to meet, particularly those I’ve worked with, have been the highlight of this experience,” he said. “The Tribune has accomplished much in a short amount of time I’ve been here, which is a credit to the dedicated staff I’m surrounded with. Although I had originally planned to stay in Columbia longer, new opportunities are taking us north once again.”

Westmoreland, 40, joined the Tribune in June 2017 following the retirement of longtime editor Jim Robertson.

Westmoreland said he intends to pursue a career as an author after catching up on missed family time and getting his family settled before the school year starts for his wife and two young sons. His wife, Eldri, will begin pursuing a doctoral degree through the University of Alaska in the fall.

Westmoreland assumed the editor role during a period of transition at the Tribune following its sale from the Waters family to GateHouse Media in October 2016. The Waters family had owned the Tribune for 111 years.

"I appreciate the dedication and leadership Charles brought to the Tribune during a period of rapid transition and reinvention," Tribune Publisher Terri Leifeste said. "He worked tirelessly each day for the betterment of our community and the field of journalism. He and his family will be missed, and I wish them well during this exciting new phase in their lives."

She said the Tribune will soon start the search process to hire a replacement.

Westmoreland immediately became active in day-to-day operations of the Tribune, often filling multiple roles, and pushed a digital-first philosophy with an emphasis on in-depth and enterprise reporting. In 2018 he became involved with overseeing and restructuring other GateHouse Media newspapers in central and northeastern Missouri. He also led the Tribune’s editorial board and served as its primary editorial writer, winning first place for best editorial in the Associated Press Managing Editors Contest in 2017 and 2018.

The Tribune received dozens of other statewide and national awards during his tenure, such as first-place finishes for Public Service Journalism and Best Sports Section during the 2018 Best of GateHouse awards announced earlier this month.