Lou Dobbs Leaving CNN

By kevin 

BREAKING: TVNewser has heard from multiple sources that Lou Dobbs will announce he is leaving CNN on his program tonight at 7pmET.

A CNN spokesperson could not confirm nor deny that Dobbs would make an announcement about his future at CNN or that he will be leaving the network.

Dobbs originally joined CNN in 1980.

We will be watching and updating.

> Update: The NYTimes confirmed with an executive that Dobbs will “announce his resignation,” which is “effective immediately,” and that the show tonight “will be his last on CNN.”

> Update 7:07pm: Dobbs’ announcement:

> More: Insiders tell TVNewser Dobbs’ staff was notified of the news at 5:30pm this afternoon

> Update: A Fox spokesperson tells NYT’s Stelter, “We have not had any discussions with Lou Dobbs for Fox News or Fox Business.”

> More from Insiders: Dobbs’ show was scheduled to be preempted tomorrow night. The “Campbell Brown” staff has been told they WILL NOT produce a two-hour show. So, what happens? One scenario has “The Situation Room” moving back an hour airing from 5pm-8pmET, with Rick Sanchez anchoring two hours in the afternoon, from 3pm-5pmET.

> More, Jon Klein’s statement: “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.”

> Update 7:59pm: Dobbs signs off saying, “Thanks for being with us. As they say, ‘I’ll see you next on the radio.'” CNN then aired the credits for his program.

> More: The Dobbs news went international very quickly. On the CBC’s WorldNews TV at 7:37, the host read an AP alert saying, “We’ve got breaking news here with CNN host Lou Dobbs [who] shocked viewers Wednesday when he announced he would be leaving the network effectively immediately.”

> More: On MSNBC, Keith Olbermann, talking about Sarah Palin‘s future, joked, “Talk show? I hear there’s an opening at 7 O’Clock on CNN.” Olbermann then mocked Dobbs giving him the bronze in WPiTW.

> More: Insiders tell us Dobbs received a huge round of applause from the staff after the broadcast and that there was a gathering with many hugs.

> More, Jon Klein’s email to CNN staff: “This is an extremely amicable parting and, while Lou supports CNN fully, he has decided to carry the banner of advocacy journalism elsewhere. We will be announcing his replacement shortly.”

(Transcript of Dobbs’ statement after the jump)

This will be my last broadcast here on CNN, where I’ve 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 I’m proud to have had the privilege to helping to build the world’s first news network. I’m grateful for the many opportunities that CNN has given me over the many years. I’ve tried to reciprocate with a 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 the role at CNN and to engage in constructive problem solving as well as to contribute positively to the great understanding of the 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, he’s the president of CNN, and as a result of those talks, john 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.