(CBS) — CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine has stepped aside in his role as full-time chief correspondent for the station, telling colleagues on Wednesday that it was “time to shift gears.”

Levine will continue to report, covering special events and assignments.

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The station’s news release follows:

Chicago, Illinois January 6, 2016 Reporter Jay Levine announced today that he is stepping down from his role as chief correspondent for the CBS 2 evening newscasts to become a special contributor for the station.

Levine made the announcement directly to his colleagues in an email this morning.

Levine wrote, “After 42 years on the beat in Chicago, going into battle day after day with and against our competitors, fighting those who’d rather spin than speak the truth, covering emerging trends, bitter conflicts, lifestyle changes, and personalities, it’s time for me to shift gears.”

Levine has spent more than 25 years at CBS 2 and reported nearly 6,000 stories for the station. Levine’s career at CBS 2 began in 1990 when he was hired as weekend anchor and reporter. In 1998, he was named co-anchor of the station’s early morning news alongside his wife, Mary Ann Childers, before resuming his reporting role in 2001.

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In addition to his work behind the anchor desk, Levine has reported from every Chicago community, its suburbs and from 29 foreign nations, including Italy, Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

“Jay has been a leader in our newsroom,” Jeff Kiernan, CBS 2 VP/News Director, said. “While I’m sorry to see him step away from our daily broadcasts, I’m thrilled that he has agreed to remain with his CBS family and continue to contribute to our station.”

Levine’s career in journalism began while studying engineering at Cornell University, where he worked as a news anchor, sports anchor and reporter for the CBS affiliate radio station, WHCU-AM/FM, in Ithaca, N.Y. In 1972, he was hired as a reporter for the CBS-owned station in Philadelphia, WCAU-AM/FM. Then, in 1974, he moved to Chicago to become a general assignment reporter for WLS-TV, where he worked until joining CBS 2 in 1990.

“Jay represents the epitome of what it means to be a journalist,” Marty Wilke, President and General Manager of CBS 2, explained. “He’s curious, tenacious and unapologetic in his mission to get the story and get it right. I know he has a lot more stories to tell and I’m glad he has chosen to stay with CBS 2 for this next phase of his journalism career.”

Levine earned a national Emmy in 2005 for his reports on the death of Pope John Paul II, along with 11 local Emmys, an Edward R. Murrow Regional Award for writing and several AP and UPI honors. Last year, marking his 50th year in journalism, Jay Levine was awarded the prestigious Excellence in Investigative Journalism Award during the Chicago International Film Festival Television Awards Ceremony.

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In thanking his CBS 2 colleagues for their support and friendship over the years, Levine concluded, “The best times for CBS 2 are ahead. The pieces are in place. I hope to remain one of them – with just a slightly different fit.”