A report Monday says CNN was so eager to get rid of controversial talk show host Lou Dobbs, the network paid him $8 million to go away. The New York Post quotes a source who said simply, "they wanted him out."
Dobbs shocked the media world last Wednesday when he announced that night's show was his last. "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 said as he opened his program. "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 possible."
But the Post claims it's not that simple. Sources say Dobbs and CNN President Jon Klein have been feuding over the kind of reporting Dobbs was doing on his show. In particular, the anti-immigration themes, as well as supporting the so called "birther" movement which questions President Obama's U.S. citizenship.
"I tried to accommodate them as best I could, but I've said for many years now that neutrality is not part of my being," Dobbs told the Associated Press. "I have strong views about a lot of issues that are important to the country and I think are important to my audience."
Dobbs is set to give his first post-resignation interview Monday night to Bill O'Reilly on Fox News. There is speculation his conservative views would be a natural on Fox, but Dobbs says it will be "weeks, probably months" before he decides what to do next. Others say he could run for the Senate from New Jersey.
Despite the reports of trouble and of the payout, Dobbs insists his departure from CNN was mutual and friendly.
"I don't know if people will believe it, but we had a very amicable parting on the best of terms. I spent 29 years there building that company, and I wish everyone there nothing but the best, and they have reciprocated with me."