Lee Brantley will retire in July after 18 years as general manager of WTVM, Raycom Media’s ABC affiliate in Columbus, Ga.

“Lee has built a team on respect and candor – not to mention building WTVM as the market leader. We at Raycom are grateful to Lee for everything he has done to make WTVM a success,” Raycom VP of television Brad Streit said in a statement.

Brantley said he and his wife “have truly been blessed and are thankful for the support of great co-workers over the years.”

Raycom will undergo an “extensive search” for WTVM’s next general manager. Brantley’s last day is July 31.