"They wanted him out," revealed a source. Dobbs shocked fans by announcing he was quitting his show 'Lou Dobbs Tonight' last Wednesday. Another source claimed he had 18 months left on a $12 million contract.
Tension had been building between Dobbs and CNN executive producer Jonathan Klein over the subject matter reported during Dobbs's show - that President Barack Obama was not born in Hawaii and therefore not an American citizen as well as illegal immigration. "What they do is their business," Dobbs stated yesterday regarding CNN. "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."
Klein held a strong belief that Dobbs' increasingly opinionated reporting ran counter to CNN's stated goal of becoming a fact-based, opinion-free network nestled between the right-leaning FOX News and left-leaning MSNBC.
However, the extent to which CNN was willing to pay Dobbs such a significant severance had been hidden. This stands in significant contrast to the way Dobbs expressed the professional dissolution of his 27-year association with CNN which he characterized as "pleasant, friendly and professional" to the Atlanta Constitution-Journal.
The $8 million package has given Dobbs a sense of freedom. "I truly believe that it's also a liberating moment for me," claimed Dobbs, who is in no rush to work on another network. Dobbs said that it would be "weeks, probably months" before he decides what to do next.
Speculation that Dobbs may become a candidate for the Senate seat in New Jersey in 2012 rings false to insiders. "He couldn't stand the scrutiny," mentioned a colleague.