Evening News Interim EP Al Ortiz Will Retire From CBS News This Summer

By A.J. Katz 

After 43 years at CBS News, Al Ortiz is retiring from the network this summer.

Ortiz has led the Evening News team as an executive producer on an interim basis since the abrupt departure of Jay Shaylor in June 2021.

CBS News will begin searching for a replacement, as Ortiz’s departure is not until this summer.


Ortiz is an institution at CBS News, having held numerous significant roles across the division for more than four decades, including two separate stints as ep of the CBS Evening News, with Norah O’Donnell and previously Dan Rather, vp of standards and practices, foreign editor, London bureau chief, and Washington bureau chief. He has helped lead the Decision Desk for CBS News for many Election Nights. Ortiz began his career at CBS News in 1977 at CBS News Radio.

On Wednesday’s morning editorial call with staff, CBS News boss Neeraj Khemlani addressed Ortiz.

“Thank you so much for all you’ve done for this broadcast and CBS News for the past 43 years. 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,” Khemlani remarked.

O’Donnell added, “Al is universally admired, respected, and loved – a true gentleman in every sense of the world who cares so deeply bout journalism but cares about the people who work not only on our show, the Evening News, but everybody at CBS.”