"The X Factor" Shocker: L.A. Reid Leaving the Show--but Don't Blame Simon Cowell!

"I owe so much to Simon," he said.

By Natalie Finn
|  Thursday, Dec 13, 2012  |  Updated 8:55 PM EDT
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L.A. Reid Leaving "X Factor" Next Year

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Before he leaves, Reid still has a shot at a winning season.

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Surprise, another shakeup at "The X Factor" judges' table is in the works.

L.A. Reid, the only talent besides executive producer Simon Cowell who survived last season's blood-letting, revealed today that he won't be coming back to the show next year.

"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," the record exec told Access Hollywood. "It was a nice break, it was a nice departure from what I've done for the past 20 years, but now I gotta go back to work."

Miss last night's performance show? Read our X Factor recap

Reid said his move has nothing to do with his relationship with Cowell, who he frequently bickers with on camera. (We'll miss that, BTW.)

"I love Simon," Reid told Access. "We have a great relationship, we have fun together, we talk, we laugh, we do bad things, we're friends. I owe so much to Simon. I really have a lot [of] respect for him and I always will. I support him, I support the show and I'll always be in business with him."

It was not immediately clear, however, whether Cowell knew this was coming. Fox and FremantleMedia North America have not yet returned requests for comment.

But before he leaves, Reid still has a shot at a winning season. Though he wasn't nuts about mentoring the "over-25s" this year, country singer Tate Stevens--presuming he survives tonight's elimination--could take the whole thing next week.

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