Lou Dobbs: Obama Election Changed "Tone" at CNN

Veteran newsman says split from CNN was "amicable"

By Caitlin Millat and Daniel Macht
|  Tuesday, Nov 17, 2009  |  Updated 5:20 AM CDT
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CNN talking head Lou Dobbs said he's leaving the news network on his own terms -- and that despite rumors to the contrary, he wasn't pushed out of the channel that made him a national TV icon.

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CNN talking head Lou Dobbs said he's leaving the news network on his own terms, but Barack Obama’s election definitely signaled the times were a-changin'.

The veteran newsman told Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly Monday that execs never directly instructed him to curb his on-air anti-immigration fusillades – the "tone" from the network was more subtle.

"You know, I discern more of a difference between then, which was under the Bush administration whom I was criticizing, and now, when it is the Obama administration and an entirely different tone was taken," Dobbs said, the New York Daily News reported.

Earlier this weekend, Dobbs told The Associated Press the departure a "very amicable parting on the best of terms."

Those terms, according to the New York Post, included CNN giving Dobbs $8 million to leave. Sources told the Post Dobbs had been feuding with CNN boss Jonathan Klein, who felt Dobbs' increasing conservatism was hurting the networks' ability to position itself between liberal news channel MSNBC and conservative Fox.

The host joined CNN two years into its creation and was one of its longest-running anchors before he abruptly announced last week he'd be leaving the network in 2010.

He said on the show he was leaving to "pursue new opportunities...beyond [his] role here at CNN."

In the AP interview, Dobbs said he's considering a run for public office and that he would continue anchoring his daily radio show.

Dobbs will be replaced by John King, a veteran White House correspondent who also hosts the CNN program "State of the Union."

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