Lou Dobbs, the popular CNN anchor known for his controversial views on immigration, has announced that he is leaving the network that made him a news celebrity. Wednesday night's broadcast was Dobbs' last, according to the Wall Street Journal, and there is no word on whether he has any immediate plans in addition to continuing his nationally-syndicated financial news radio show.
Rumors have circulated that Dobbs may be leaving CNN for Fox News, much as former CNN commentator Greta Van Susteren did back in 2002. A representative from Fox has denied this rumor, however, telling the Wall Street Journal that the network has not had "any discussions with Lou Dobbs for Fox News or Fox Business."
"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," Dobbs told viewers during his final broadcast. "And some leaders in media, politics and
business have been urging me to go beyond my role here at CNN and to
engage in constructive problem-solving, as well as to contribute
positively to a better understanding of the great issues of our day.
And to continue to do so in the most honest and direct language
Dobbs has long been a polarizing figure on CNN. An outspoken advocate of strict immigration law, he is often at the center of controversy. In 2007, Dobbs repeatedly claimed that Hispanics had brought more than 7,000 cases of leprosy into the United States over a three-year period, and during the 2008 presidential election season, he was heavily criticized for devoting time on his show to the question of Barack Obama's U.S. citizenship.
Back in October, police were called to investigate gunshots fired at Dobbs' New Jersey home, and he also complained of receiving threatening phone calls, saying that his controversial views made him a target. It is uncertain whether these incidents directly motivated his resignation.
Dobbs will be replaced by John King, CNN's chief national correspondent, beginning early next year. "The program will reflect what CNN is all about: straight facts from
our anchors and the widest range of opinions from across the political
spectrum," CNN president Jonathan Klein said in a statement.