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Lou Dobbs Leaving CNN Effective Immediately (Video)

CNN's Lou Dobbs surprised viewers on Wednesday with an announcement that he was leaving the network and his nightly show immediately to pursue new opportunities.

"Over the past six months it's become increasingly clear that strong winds of change have been begun buffeting this country and effecting all of us," said the 64-year-old Dobbs, who's been with CNN since its inception in 1980.

"Some leaders in media, politics and business have been urging me to beyond the role here at CNN and engage in constructive problem solving."

"Unfortunately, these issues are now defined in the public arena by partisanship and ideology rather than rigorous empirical thought and forthright analysis and discussion," he said. "I will be working diligently to change that as best I can."

"I'm considering a number of options and directions and I assure you I will let you know when I set my course. I'm the last of the original anchors here on CNN and I'm proud to have had the privilege of helping to built the world's first news network."

Dobbs' exit comes just as CNN has slipped to third behind MSNBC and Fox News in the primetime ratings on the strength of its commentators.

There have been reports that Dobbs recently met with Fox News Channel chairman Roger Ailes. The meeting led to speculation that Dobbs could join the Fox Business Network. However, Dobbs' remarks on Wednesday sound more like a man ready to enter the political foray in some form.

CNN, which had been under fire by immigration rights groups from across the country, agreed to let Dobbs out of his contract, which wasn't supposed to end until 2011.

"Our contention all along was that Lou Dobbs — who has a long record of spreading lies and conspiracy theories about immigrants and Latinos — does not belong on the 'most trusted name in news,'” Roberto Lovato, a co-founder of one group said in a statement. "We are thrilled that Dobbs no longer has this legitimate platform from which to incite fear and hate."

Watch Lou Dobbs make the announcement below:

November 12, 2009 |

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