L.A. Reid Announces He Is Leaving 'The X Factor'

The music executive says his time on the Fox show is over: "It was a nice break...but now I gotta go back to work"

Another judge bites the dust! Simon Cowell's talent reality show The X Factor continues to have retention problems when it comes to judges, but this time (for once) the exit wasn't initiated by Cowell. L.A. Reid announced Thursday that he will not return to the show next year.

The record executive explained his reasons are purely a matter of work balance. "I have to go back, and I have a company to run that I've kind of neglected and it saddens me a little bit but only a little bit," he told Access Hollywood. "It was a nice break, it was a nice departure from what I've done for the past 20 years, but now I gotta go back to work."

The Chairman and CEO of Epic Records, 56, stressed that his departure has nothing to do with his fequent on-camera bickering with Cowell, 53, (which was always one of the highlights of the show, watching two of the world's most respected music producers trade barbs).

"I love Simon," Reid told Access. "We have a great relationship, we have fun together, we talk, we laugh, we do bad things, we're friends. I owe so much to Simon. I really have a lot [of] respect for him and I always will. I support him, I support the show and I'll always be in business with him."

But because Cowell didn't prompt the exit, it's unclear whether the British music impresario knew his colleague was leaving the Fox show. Neither he nor Fremantle Media, which produces The X Factor, have yet to release a statement.

Before he goes, Reid has plenty of reason to be happy on the show. His last over-25 mentee, country singer Tate Stevens, survived Thursday night's elimination and is headed to next week's finals!

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