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L.A. Reid Quits 'The X Factor': Judge Will Not Return For Season 3

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L.A. Reid is leaving "The X Factor" behind.

The music executive will not return for Season 3 and is instead going back to his day job as Epic Records chairman, according to "Access Hollywood."

“I have decided that I will not return to ‘The X Factor’ next year,” he told Shaun Robinson of "Access Hollywood." “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 ... I’m not ruling out ever coming back, but I’m definitely not coming back next year ... Maybe I’ll revisit the idea a little later.”

Reid told The Hollywood Reporter that he has "the utmost respect for Simon Cowell, he is the very best and I have had the opportunity to learn so much from him ... Working with him on 'X Factor' has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience, I'm honored to have sat on the panel with such incredible talent."

Who does Reid hope will replace him? “My choice would be like Jon Bon Jovi,” he told "Access Hollywood."

Reid was the first judge hired by Cowell and is the only judge to sit on the panel for both Season 1 and Season 2. Though Reid's exit is a surprise, many have been questioning whether or not Season 2 judges Britney Spears or Demi Lovato would return for Season 3 of "The X Factor." The jury is still out on the fate of those two pop stars.

The hunt for one, or possibly three, more judges could prove difficult, considering it took Cowell four months to officially sign Spears and Lovato after "The X Factor's" Season 1 shakeup in January.

Cowell gave Season 1 judges Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger the boot along with host Steve Jones. Cowell began searching for replacement judges and hosts for "The X Factor" almost immediately.

Miley Cyrus and LeAnn Rimes were also rumored to be in contention for "The X Factor" Season 2, while Fergie shut down reports that she was judging, as did Janet Jackson.

The search for two new hosts to replace Jones wasn't over until October when Fox signed Khloe Kardashian and Mario Lopez for Season 2.

Reid's mentee Tate Stevens could win "The X Factor" Season 2 (and the accompanying $5 million prize) during next week’s finale.

Fox had no comment on the news.

For more on L.A. Reid's departure, head over to "Access Hollywood" and THR.

"The X Factor" airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8 p.m. EST on Fox.

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