Randy Jackson Is Leaving ‘American Idol’

May 9, 2013 6:58pm
ht randy jackson idol nt 130409 wmain Randy Jackson Is Leaving American Idol

(Photo credit: Fox)

It’s the end of an era.

After 12 years as a judge on “American Idol,” Randy Jackson is leaving the show.

“I have decided it is time to leave after this season,” he said in a statement to various media outlets. “I am looking forward to focusing on my company Dream Merchant 21 and other business ventures.”

Jackson, the only original judge still on the show, called his experience on the Fox singing competition “an amazing opportunity.”

“I am very proud of how we forever changed television and the music industry,” he said.

The announcement came amid rumors that the show is going to be restructured with a new panel of judges and a new producer. Though the show is still popular (11 million viewers tuned in on Wednesday), ratings are down almost 25 percent from last year, when they were their lowest in the show’s history.

Fox had no comment. Representatives for Jackson could not be reached for comment.

ABC News’ Andrea Dresdale contributed to this report.

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