Al Ortiz, a CBS News veteran who has been serving as interim executive producer of CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell, announced that he will retire later this summer.

Ortiz stepped into the role at the evening newscast after the departure of Jay Shaylor last year.

On Wednesday morning’s editorial call, Ortiz said, per the network, “I’m immensely proud of what we’ve accomplished on the broadcast over the past year. I’m proud of the awards we’ve won under Norah’s leadership, proud of the steady progress in the ratings and demos.”

Ortiz has been with the network’s news division for 43 years, and has served as executive producer of the evening news broadcast twice. He also has served as vice president of standards and practices, foreign editor, London bureau chief and Washington bureau chief. He started in 1977 at CBS News Radio.

The network said that it will start a search for Ortiz’ successor. O’Donnell recently re-upped her role as anchor of the broadcast. She said that Ortiz is “universally admired, respected, and loved,  a true gentleman in every sense of the word who cares so deeply about journalism but cares about the people who work not only on our show, the Evening News, but everybody at CBS.”

Neeraj Khemlani, co-head of CBS News and Stations, told Ortiz on the call, “When you ultimately retire this summer, you’ll still be on the top of your game. The job is the penultimate of the industry. You’ve accomplished it all, and CBS News is forever in your debt.”


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