STUDIO CITY (CBSLA.com) — Award-winning KCAL (Channel 9) and KCBS-TV (Channel 2) news anchor Sylvia Lopez  announced her plans to leave the stations and pursue a career in the public health field.

Lopez, who currently anchors KCAL’s weekday 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. newscasts, will conclude her 30-year career in Los Angeles television news by anchoring her final newscasts on Friday, April 24.

“I’ve been amazingly fortunate to cover the news for more than three decades, and to do it for 28 of those years at KCAL and KCBS, among people who are like my family,” Lopez said. “It’s been a privilege to report on so many stories that have impacted people right here in Southern California where I grew up.”

Lopez has been admitted into the Master of Public Health program at California State University, Northridge. She will enter the program as a full-time graduate student this fall.

“I’ve always had a passion for health issues, probably because I grew up helping my dad in his dental practice. Now, after three decades of shedding light on them as a journalist, I’m excited to take the next step by trying to address these issues in a hands-on role, especially those that affect children and families.”

“Sylvia Lopez is a Southern California TV news treasure,” said Steve Mauldin, President and General Manager, CBS 2 and KCAL 9. “Her professionalism and heart have set a shining example for what a newscaster should be.”

“We wish she was staying with us, but certainly understand her strong desire to affect meaningful change in the healthcare field. We look forward to celebrating her remarkable career at CBS 2 and KCAL 9 and giving her the sendoff she deserves later this month.”

A Los Angeles native and graduate of the USC School of Journalism, Lopez has reported behind the anchor desk and on location around the world at major international news events, from presidential elections in Washington D.C., to the election of Pope Francis on St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City. Her assignments have taken her from refugee camps on the border of Mexico and Guatemala, to Cologne, Germany for World Youth Day.

On the scene of local breaking news, Lopez has covered some of Southern California’s most compelling news stories, from train-wrecks and earthquakes, to major fires and floods. She was on the anchor desk for KCAL’s award-winning coverage of the deadly North Hollywood Bank Shootout.

For her work, Lopez has been honored with several awards, including Emmys and Golden Mikes. The Associated Press TV and Radio Association gave special recognition to her reports on homeless children living on Skid Row. She received the Imagen Award from the National Coalition of Christians and Jews for a series of reports on the growing economic and political power of L.A.’s Mexican American community.

Lopez chronicled Mexico’s drug wars, and the struggles of several patients awaiting life-saving organ transplants which both received Emmys. Most recently, she received a Golden Mike Award for a story on a local big band orchestra with veteran members still playing into their 90s.

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