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Lou Dobbs To Leave CNN: Report UPDATE: Confirmed

The New York Times’ Media Decoder blog has the scoop – Lou Dobbs is leaving CNN.

Lou Dobbs, the longtime CNN anchor whose anti-immigration views made him a TV lightning rod, plans to announce Wednesday that he is leaving the network, two network employees said.

A CNN executive confirmed that Mr. Dobbs will announce his plans on his 7 p.m. program.

This is quite incredible. Without Dobbs, CNN is well back in the ratings, behind even its own Headline News product. He was the bright spot in an otherwise dour ratings swamp for CNN. In the last quarter, “Red Eye,” a show on Fox News Channel which airs at 3 in the morning on the East Coast, was beating the entire primetime lineup at CNN in the 25-54 demo.

But Dobbs’ increasingly unhinged and arguably racist rhetoric had inspired civil rights groups and Hispanic groups to call for his firing. If Dobbs does leave, those groups would be right to claim victory.

Since Dobbs met with Roger Ailes last month, it would not be at all surprising if he moved on to Fox News Channel. However, sources have denied that repeatedly, as well as some of Fox’ own anchors.

We’ll see what happens at 7:00…

UPDATE: NYT has updated their report and says that the resignation is effective IMMEDIATELY. Tonight will be his last show on CNN, according to the story. Wow.

UPDATE II: Dobbs made no reference at all to him leaving CNN in his opening segment.

UPDATE III: Dobbs is making his statement. This is indeed his last broadcast; he was released from his deal with CNN by their leadership. He’s talking about the “winds of change” in America and how he can “pursue new opportunities,” though he didn’t specify what those opportunities would be. He sounded more like a political candidate than anything, honestly. He said that he was committed to specific issues, like the growth of middle class, jobs, health care, immigration, the environment, climate change, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Most of all, Dobbs said, he was concerned about the “strong resilience of our now weakened capitalist economy.” He said he would
“continue to deal honestly and straightforwardly with those issues in the future.” Unfortunately, said Dobbs, he has to contend with rank partisanship – but he will be working to change that. “I will strive to be a leader in that national conversation.”

That’s it.

…it absolutely sounded like he would pursue a position in elected office.

UPDATE: The video:

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David Dayen

David Dayen