Adam Verdugo, a news producer who has worked for years with anchor Norah O’Donnell, has been named executive producer of “CBS Evening News,” just weeks after O’Donnell and CBS extended a contract to keep her at the helm of the show.
Verdugo will start his new duties June 13, and brings the executive producer position for the program back to Washington, D.C. For the past several months, CBS News veteran Al Ortiz supervised the evening newscast out of New York. Ortiz in April announced his intention to retire by the summer.
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“Adam is an experienced, innovative leader with a proven track record of producing a wide-range of significant events and interviews for CBS News’ weekday programs as well as long form pieces,” said Neeraj Khemlani, co-president of CBS’ news and stations operations, in a statement. “As we move into the midterms, his extensive experience booking and producing political coverage over the last decade will also be invaluable in continuing the Evening News’ momentum.”
Verdugo has worked with O’Donnell for more than a decade, and has been on hand during her coverage of numerous breaking news events, presidential election nights, the Jan. 6 Insurrection, and exclusive interviews with newsmakers including Presidents Biden and George W. Bush and Vice President Pence. Verdugo contributed to an award-winning investigation into sexual assault in the U.S. military for “CBS Evening News” and also co-produced several of O’Donnell’s pieces for “60 Minutes.” This year, Verdugo helped launch and currently executive produces the CBS News streaming program “Person to Person” a show that features interviews between O’Donnell and various newsmakers
“On the road, at an interview, and during every broadcast, Adam is the trusted colleague you want by your side. He is a calm and steady leader with keen journalistic instincts,” O’Donnell said, in a statement. “His editorial vision will help the CBS Evening News’ continue to excel and expand the reach of our impactful storytelling.” In April, O’Donnell and CBS News signed a new deal that will keep her in the evening-news anchor chair through 2024, despite some past speculation that the two might not come to terms.
“CBS Evening News” remains in third place behind ABC’s “World News Tonight” and NBC’s “NBC Nightly News,” but CBS executives have been encouraged in recent months by gains the program has made among the viewers most desired by advertisers, people between 25 and 54. The show has narrowed the gap between itself and NBC’s program in that audience category.
Verdugo was most recently executive story editor at “CBS Evening News,” but has worked with O’Donnell since she was at NBC News. He joined CBS News in 2013 as a senior producer for “CBS This Morning” based in Los Angeles, before moving to New York in 2017 to oversee talent bookings. He was also involved in the launch of O’Donnell’s tenure at “CBS Evening News,” which the network moved to Washington from New York in hopes that proximity to newsmakers would lend the show a competitive edge.
At NBC News, Verdugo produced coverage of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and the Royal Wedding in London. He traveled the country covering the 2010 midterm elections as a digital journalist, and later served as a senior producer on “Meet the Press.”
He received a bachelor’s degree in political science at the College of Holy Cross, while gaining a minor in economics and accounting.
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