Lou Dobbs announced on-air tonight that he is leaving CNN "effective immediately" after his show ended.
“Some leaders in the media, politics and business have been urging me to go beyond my role here at CNN and engage in constructive problem-solving,” he said.
He said that he was still figuring out what he would do next.
He said CNN had agreed to release him early from his contract, which had another two years to go.
Most recently Dobbs was in the news when someone shot at his house. No one was hurt.
Dobbs, who has always held strong views, clashed with CNN management earlier this year when he kept insisting that President Obama wasn’t a U.S. citizen.
He also has strong views on the issue of immigration, primarily expressing views that have angered many in the Hispanic community. Dobbs has consistently said that he’s been misunderstood and that his views on immigration are centerist and main stream.
There has been some speculation that Dobbs might jump to Fox News, but earlier this year Fox said that wasn’t happening.#
To see a video of Dobbs’ live on-air resignation,click here.
UPDATE: (4:50 PM, PT) Here is the announcement CNN just released about Dobbs’ surprise resignation:
Lou Dobbs Announces Departure from CNN
After nearly three decades anchoring an evening program on CNN, Lou Dobbs has decided to step away from his CNN anchor desk to focus on his role as a commentator and advocacy journalist on his daily radio talk show, as well as to pursue new avenues to contribute to the national discussion on important social, political and economic issues.
During Wednesday night’s broadcast of Lou Dobbs Tonight, Dobbs offered the following statement:
“Tonight, I want to turn to a personal note if I may and address a matter that has raised some curiosity.
This will be my last broadcast here on CNN, where I have worked for most of the past 30 years and where I have many friends and colleagues whom I admire deeply and respect greatly.
I’m the last of the original anchors here on CNN, and am proud to have had the privilege of helping to build the world’s first news network. I am grateful for the many opportunities that CNN has given me over these many years, I’ve tried to reciprocate with the full measure of my ability and my energy.
Over the past six months, it’s become increasingly clear that strong winds of change have begun buffeting this country and affecting all of us. And some leaders in media, politics and business have been urging me to go beyond my role here at CNN and to engage in constructive problem-solving, as well as to contribute positively to a better understanding of the great issues of our day. And to continue to do so in the most honest and direct language possible.
I’ve talked extensively with Jonathan Klein, Jon’s the president of CNN, and as a result of those talks, Jon and I have agreed to a release from my contract that will enable me to pursue new opportunities.
At this point, I’m considering a number of options and directions and I assure you I will let you know when I set my course.
I truly believe that the major issues of our time include the growth of our middle class, the creation of more jobs, healthcare, immigration policy, the environment, climate change, and our military involvement, of course, in Afghanistan and Iraq. But each of those issues is in my opinion informed by our capacity to demonstrate strong resilience of our now weakened capitalist economy and demonstrate the political will to overcome the lack of true representation in Washington, D.C. I believe these to be profoundly critically important issues and I will continue to strive to deal honestly and straightforwardly with those issues in the future. Unfortunately, these issues are now defined in the public arena by partisanship and ideology rather than by rigorous empirical thought and forthright analysis and discussion. I will be working diligently to change that as best I can. And, as for the important work of restoring inspiration to our great free society and our market economy, I will strive as well to be a leader in that national conversation.
It has been my great honor to work with each and every person at this wonderful network. I will be eternally grateful to CNN, to Ted Turner, and to all of my colleagues and friends and, of course, to you at home. I thank you and may God bless you.
The news continues for the rest of this hour. I’ll be back right after the break.”
CNN President Jon Klein issued the following statement this evening:
“Lou Dobbs is a valued founding member of the CNN family. For decades, Lou fearlessly and tirelessly pursued some of the most important and complex stories of our time, often well ahead of the pack. All of us will miss his appetite for big ideas, the megawatt smile and larger than life presence he brought to our newsroom, and we’re grateful to have known and worked with him over the years. With characteristic forthrightness, Lou has now decided to carry the banner of advocacy journalism elsewhere. We respect his decision and wish him, Debi, and his family the very best.”
LOU DOBBS BACKGROUND:
Lou Dobbs has anchored CNN’s daily program “Lou Dobbs Tonight” since June 2003. Prior to that, he anchored “The Moneyline News Hour with Lou Dobbs,” which he rejoined in May 2001, after a two year absence.
Lou joined CNN at its inception and began anchoring for CNN in New York when the network first launched in 1980. Lou Dobbs was in charge of CNN’s business news programming from 1980-1999 and served on the network’s executive committee from 1989-1999.
Dobbs anchors a nationally syndicated financial news radio report, “The Lou Dobbs Financial Report,” and he is the host of the highly successful national radio program, “The Lou Dobbs Show,” which launched in March 2008. Dobbs’ radio shows have more than 400 affiliates and reach nearly five million people weekly.
Dobbs has won nearly every major award for his work in television news. In 2005, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences awarded Dobbs the Emmy for Lifetime Achievement. The previous year, the National Television Academy awarded Lou Dobbs Tonight an Emmy Award for “Exporting America.” He received the George Foster Peabody Award for his coverage of the 1987 stock market crash. In 1990, he was given the Luminary Award by the Business Journalism Review for his “visionary work, which changed the landscape of business journalism in the 1980s.”
Dobbs has written three best-selling books. “Independents Day: Awakening the American Spirit” in 2007, “War on the Middle Class” in 2006, and “Exporting America” in 2004. He has also been a columnist for Money Magazine, U.S. News and World Report and the New York Daily News.
Lou Dobbs Tonight features a signature series of ongoing special reports including “Broken Borders (which focuses on border security and illegal immigration), “War on the Middle Class,” “Exporting America,” (which focuses on the outsourcing of American jobs) and “Failing Grades” (which on the crisis in public education.
Dobbs has received the Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership in Media Award at the 2004 Albert Schweitzer Leadership Awards Dinner for his commitment to helping high school students seek out, recognize and develop leadership potential. In 1999, he received the Horatio Alger Association Award for Distinguished Americans and, in 2000, the National Space Club Media Award. Dobbs was named “Father of the Year” by the National Father’s Day Committee in 1993.#