Howell joined the station as the weekday evening anchor in 1976. He left the station in 1998, but returned in 2004 to anchor the 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts.
“His wisdom, demeanor and desire to be the best have kept this station on top during all the years he has been associated with it,” vice president and general manager Collin R. Gaston said in a statement. “We wish him continued success and happiness in the future and look forward to having him back as often as we can.”
Howell will continue to anchor through the May ratings period and will officially retire on June 1.