MIAMI — Maria Elena Salinas, one of the most recognizable and respected journalists in Spanish-language media in the U.S., is leaving Univision’s nightly newscast at the end of the year.

The anchor announced her decision to leave her anchor’s chair in December at the end of Thursday’s newscast of “Noticiero Univision.”

She has worked for the network for more than 35 years, covering wars, issues affecting the Hispanic community and national politics, including interviews with every former U.S. president since Jimmy Carter.

“I am grateful for having had the privilege to inform and empower the Latino community through the work my colleagues and I do with such passion at Univision every day,” Salinas said. “I thank our audience for their trust and loyalty through the years, and want them to know that as long as I have a voice, I will always use it to speak on their behalf.”

Her departure from the channel, one of the most important in Spanish-language television, represents the end of an era for millions of immigrants who learned the day’s news from Salinas and co-anchor Jorge Ramos.

She also host’s the network’s Sunday news show, “AquĆ­ y Ahora” (“Here and Now”).

Salinas is a Los Angeles native born to Mexican parents. Univision says Salinas will continue to work as a journalist and independent producer.