Lou Dobbs Abruptly Signs Off from CNN

By Andrew Gauthier 


Lou Dobbs was with CNN when the network first launched in 1980. Through the years, he engaged in a handful high-profile clashes with the network’s management and on Wednesday night, Dobbs announced that he was leaving CNN, effective immediately.

This is not the first time that Dobbs has left CNN–he walked away in 1999 after a clash with then CNN president Rick Kaplan–but this time feels especially significant as CNN finds itself trailing Fox News and MSNBC in the ratings while the network struggles to forge an identity in a cable news landscape that has become increasingly political and commentator-rich.

Dobbs’ resignation also comes at a time when the outspoken anchor and radio show host finds himself the target of attacks from media critics and advocacy groups. Over the last year, Dobbs has become increasingly opinionated on his program, taking personal stands on immigration and giving weight to the so-called Birther movement. According to The New York Times, CNN president Jon Klein gave Dobbs a choice: “Dobbs could vent his opinions on radio and anchor an objective newscast on television, or he could leave CNN.”

Dobbs decided to leave CNN. And on Wednesday he made an abrupt announcement on his program, reportedly surprising many members of his production team. “This will be my last broadcast here on CNN where I’ve worked for most of the past 30 years,” Dobbs said on his show, as a digital American flag waved behind him. “Some leaders in media, politics, and business, have been urging me to go beyond the role here at CNN and to engage in constructive problem-solving,” he continued, offering a vague explanation of his future plans. (Video here).

There has been recent speculation that Dobbs would join either Fox News or the Fox Business Network. A spokesperson for both a Fox News and Fox Business has told TVSpy, “We have not had any discussions with Lou Dobbs for Fox News or Fox Business.”