Jason Kennedy screenshot

E! has been an institution in entertainment news for over three decades and brought many people into the spotlight, including network staple Jason Kennedy. In recent months, E! has gone through a major overhaul in terms of format and talent. Despite the changes, Kennedy remained a consistent presence at the network until now. Kennedy took to social media to announce the end of his interview program In the Room and his time at the network.

Over two decades at E!, Jason Kennedy became one of the network’s most recognizable faces. He has hosted E!’s red carpet coverage along with a multitude of other shows for the network, including E! News. Early on, he was groomed to be the next Ryan Seacrest by the network to the point where it became a running joke. But over the last year, both Kennedy and E! suffered a major blow as COVID-19 shut down much of Hollywood, including celebrity interviews. As a result, Kennedy’s one-on-one interview show In the Room was canceled. He took to his Instagram to address the show’s cancellation:

I don’t think it’s possible to sum up 16 amazing years. I’ve had the time of my life at E!. Most recently, I loved being the host of ‘In the Room,’ but COVID restrictions made it impossible to capture interviews with celebrities in a more personal setting, so I’ve decided to explore new opportunities. I’m leaving with a grateful and full heart thinking about my experience, and the lifelong friendships I’ve made along the way. I have a slate of exciting projects that I’ve been working really hard on and I can’t wait to share more with you soon.

Jason Kennedy’s words were seemingly heartfelt and straightforward as he reminisced over his time at E! in the post. Despite leaving the network, his future in media will continue as mentioned in his statement. In his post, he even announced his departure from the network after working there for 16 years. You can check out Johnson’s full announcement and touching slideshow in the post below:

Jason Kennedy’s exit from E! came just a few years after he became a social media target over a dispute within the network. In 2018, his former E! News co-host Cat Sadler decided to leave E! after being with the network for a decade. She later revealed that the difference in salary between her and Kennedy was the reason for her exit. The revelation led to Kennedy and his wife being harassed on social media despite Sadler and E! coming out to clear him of any wrongdoing. Since Sadler’s exit, Kennedy remained with E! News until it was retooled in 2019. He eventually started hosting the now-canceled In the Room.

Jason Kennedy hasn’t been the only E! staple to leave In recent months. In February, American Idol host Ryan Seacrest announced his departure from the entertainment network. With COVID-19 seemingly affecting every aspect of entertainment, media companies appear to be taking a hard look at what works and what doesn’t in today’s media landscape.

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