CBS Evening News Names Al Ortiz Interim Executive Producer

By Mollie Cahillane 

CBS Evening News has tapped CBS News veteran Al Ortiz as its new interim executive producer following Jay Shaylor‘s exit earlier this month.

This marks an Evening News return for Ortiz, who had previously led the team before the program moved to Washington. He also worked closely with Norah O’Donnell on Election Night in both 2016 and 2020.

Ortiz held the role of executive producer of special events for 12 years, and spent the last seven years as vp of standards and practices. Ortiz has also served as executive producer of CBS Evening News with Dan Rather from 1998 to 2001. He began his career with CBS News in 1977 at CBS News Radio.

“Al is the consummate team player and he will be working closely with Norah, Elizabeth Turner, Alturo Rhymes and the entire team at Evening News to continue to build on the show’s momentum,” read a note from Neeraj Khemlani, president and co-head of CBS News and Stations. “His deep knowledge of CBS News’ values, and the premium we place on original reporting and exquisite storytelling, will continue to distinguish the program while empowering the next generation of leaders.”

He takes over the role from Shaylor, who exited the job after less than two years in the first significant, high-level staffing change by the new regime at CBS News, presidents and co-heads of CBS News & Stations Khemlani and Wendy McMahon.

Shaylor was the first permanent ep of the Norah O’Donnell-fronted newscast, as it transitioned from New York to Washington D.C.. Evening News remained in third behind NBC and ABC in the evening ratings race during Shaylor’s tenure as ep, although it has been gaining a bit of ground on NBC Nightly News in 2021.

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