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Randy Jackson Leaving 'American Idol'

Longtime judge exits after 12 seasons 5/09/2013 06:23:34 PM Eastern

Randy Jackson is exiting Fox's American Idol after 12 seasons, the judge told E! Online Thursday.

"To put all of the speculation to the rest, after 12 years of judging on American Idol I have decided it is time to leave after this season," he said in a statement to E!. "I am very proud of how we forever changed television and the music industry. It's been a life changing opportunity but I am looking forward to focusing on my company Dream Merchant 21 and other business ventures."

The news comes after reports that Fox is looking to replace all four Idol judges next season in the face of slipping ratings. A Fox spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.

Jackson was the reality series' sole remaining original judge, having weathered the transition from the Simon Cowell-Paula Abdul years to the current cast of Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban.

The Wednesday edition of Idol is averaging a 3.2 rating with adults 18-49 and 11.2 million total viewers,according to Nielsen overnight ratings, a record low for the reality stalwart.

 

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