Alturo Rhymes and Elizabeth Turner Named Co-Senior Broadcast Producers of CBS Evening News

By A.J. Katz 

The CBS Evening News has promoted two of its key producers to new roles.

Alturo Rhymes and Elizabeth Turner are now co-senior broadcast producers of the CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell. Executive producer Jay Shaylor announced the news to staff on Monday.

“Norah and I have come to rely on their combined news judgment, creativity and story-telling abilities,” Shaylor wrote in a memo to staff. “As co-leaders, they will now have additional bandwidth to work closely with each of you to improve the quality of the journalism we do and to expand the audience that sees it.”

Rhymes joined CBS News back in 2005, and has covered nearly every major news story for the network since that time — producing in the field during natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and at man-made disasters, including the shootings in Newtown. “His passion for shining a light on people who don’t always get the spotlight has made the broadcast stronger,” Shaylor wrote.

Rhymes began his journalism career at the age of 16 as an assignment editor at WMAQ—one of the first Emma Bowen Foundation fellows. After graduating from Hampton University, he worked at NBC Nightly News, MSNBC and CNBC before becoming a producer at CBS Newspath and CBS Weekend News. Rhymes has won an Emmy and several Sigma Delta Chi and NABJ awards.

Turner joined CBS Evening News as a senior producer in January 2019. “When the Broadcast Center shut down last March, she raced to Washington to get us on the air—and then stayed, living and working away from home for four months,” Shaylor wrote.

Prior to Evening News, Turner spent five years at CBS This Morning, where she oversaw the broadcast during the overnight and early morning hours. Prior to her arrival at CBS News, she managed live, daily broadcasts for a number of affiliates across the country including WSB-TV in Atlanta, KTVN-TV in Reno and WPEC-TV in West Palm Beach.

 

Here’s Shaylor’s full memo:

 Evening News Team –

I am thrilled to announce we are promoting Alturo Rhymes and Elizabeth Turner to be Co-Senior Broadcast Producers of the CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell. In their new roles, they will share day-to-day management of the broadcast and will work with Norah and me to continue innovating the program and growing our audience.

Elizabeth and Alturo have done a phenomenal job leading the team on an interim basis the past few months. While they have alternated filling in, behind-the-scenes they have been working in tandem each week—collaborating to position us for success. Over this period, they have created a powerhouse partnership. Norah and I have come to rely on their combined news judgment, creativity and story-telling abilities. As co-leaders, they will now have additional bandwidth to work closely with each of you to improve the quality of the journalism we do and to expand the audience that sees it.

As a senior producer and producer on the broadcast for the past decade, Alturo has distinguished himself as a brilliant journalist and leader with a keen eye for a great story. Whether on the ground during breaking news, in an edit suite or at his post in the Fishbowl, all of us have benefited from his inclusivity, his calm demeanor and his contemplative style. His passion for shining a light on people who don’t always get the spotlight has made the broadcast stronger. Since arriving at CBS News in 2005, Alturo has covered nearly every major news story—producing in the field during natural disasters such as Katrina and at man-made horrors, including the shootings in Newtown. But he’s been at the center of the action for much longer. Alturo began his journalism career at the age of 16 as an assignment editor at WMAQ—one of the first Emma Bowen Foundation fellows. After graduating from Hampton University, he worked at NBC Nightly News, MSNBC and CNBC before becoming a producer at Newspath and Weekend News. He holds a Master’s in News Media Studies from American University and has won multiple recognitions for his work, including an Emmy and several Sigma Delta Chi and NABJ awards.

Since joining the team as a senior producer in January 2019, Elizabeth has made herself invaluable while making the broadcast more urgent and relevant. She is an exceptional leader, a caring mentor and a gifted journalist with stellar editorial judgment. In the Bowl and in the control room, she is a maestro—marshalling the staff and timing the rundown as if she were conducting an orchestra. Her enthusiasm for what we do is as infectious as her laugh. And her commitment to our team is not lost on anyone. When the Broadcast Center shut down last March, she raced to Washington to get us on the air—and then stayed, living and working away from home for four months. Of course, Elizabeth is no stranger to long hours and tough assignments. During five years at CBS This Morning she oversaw the two-hour broadcast during the grueling overnight and early morning hours. Before that, she spent more than a decade covering national and local news as a producer at our CBS affiliates in Reno and West Palm Beach and at WSB in Atlanta. Elizabeth earned her BA from SUNY Albany and her Master’s in journalism at Syracuse. She has won multiple Murrow and Emmy awards.

We are thrilled to have these extraordinary leaders stepping into their new, shared roles at a moment when the broadcast has tremendous momentum. Despite the challenges caused by the pandemic, this year each of you has worked tirelessly to deliver best-in-class reporting and storytelling to our audience. Because of that, we are dramatically closing the gap with our competition. We are now the closest we’ve been to NBC in the ratings in 26 years. And since last summer Norah and the broadcast have been recognized with the Murrow Award for Best Newscast as well as receiving Sigma Delta Chi, National Headliner, Wilbur, Gracie and Scripps Howard awards. All of this, despite the complexities and challenges of working from home.

Later this week we’ll begin our third year with Norah at the helm of this broadcast. I am indebted to her for her leadership, commitment and enthusiasm, especially these past few months. We are lucky to have an anchor and managing editor who is not only focused on great journalism, but who also cares deeply about each of us. I’m also grateful to our entire senior team for working long hours and doing double-duty during our search. They are an exceptional group.

Over the coming weeks, Alturo, Elizabeth and I will share with you more details of our new management and operating structure, as well as how we hope to embrace hybrid work schedules this fall. We’ll also be asking some of you to step into exciting new roles, too. In the meantime, I hope everyone can take some time off this summer to relax, unwind and decompress.

Please join Norah and me in congratulating Elizabeth and Alturo on their new roles!

And thank you for all you do.

–jay

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