Simon Cowell's first hire for the American version of 'X Factor' is flying the coop. L.A. Reid announced today that he would not be returning to the smash Fox hit for the third season.
Reid, who spends his days running Sony's music label, intends to refocus his energy entirely in that area.
"I have the utmost respect for Simon Cowell," Reid said. "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 an once-in-a-lifetime experience. I'm honored to have sat on the panel with such incredible talent."
Reid was one of the few survivors of the season one bloodletting, as Paula Abdul, Nicole Scherzinger and host Steve Jones were kicked to the curb. After overseeing the boys in the first season, Reid handled the over-25s in the most recent season - a job he was not thrilled with initially, but warmed up to when his talent Tate Stevens quickly became one of the favorites to win the $5 million prize next week during the finale.
"Of course I will miss the show; in my opinion Simon attracts the best talent," he added. "But I'm looking forward to getting back to my core business and the responsibility of running Epic Records."
The status of Britney Spears and Demi Lovato for the third season is unknown at this time. Fox has green lit the third season, however.