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After four seasons as a judge on America’s Got Talent, Howard Stern is saying goodbye to the reality TV talent show.

Howard Stern at David Letterman
Photo via PNP/

Stern announced that he will not reappear as a judge on the show.  Fans might be disappointed, but NBC is likely p*ssed.

NBC has bent over backwards to make life easier for Stern.  The network moved the show’s live episodes from Los Angeles to New York City so Stern could film the show and host his Sirius radio gig.

Maybe they thought being so accommodating would keep him on the show.  But even after giving Stern until July 4th to decide if he will return to the show, he decided to call it quits.

However, it doesn’t come as a total shock that Stern is leaving America’s Got Talent.  Stern has expressed uncertainty in the past about the gig . 

In 2013, before he returned for his third season, he wavered about his willingness to participate.  "I really, really did struggle . . . because I’ve been working a long time. I really wanted to decide if this was going to take away too much free time,” he said.

"Did I really still enjoy doing it? Did I have something to say? Is it something I should be involved with still?"

Stern replaced Piers Morgan in 2012 and sat at the judges table with Heidi Klum, Mel B, and Howie Mandel. He claims out of all the judges, he was the softie of the bunch.  

While promoting season 10, he stated, "I decided that a life without AGT is not a life worth living. America needs a caring, compassionate and wise judge and who am I to deny the people what they want? It would be selfish of me to walk away."

Often he truly was the most compassionate judge.  For instance, Stern comforted a crying contestant in a 2012 episode.

His departure from the show doesn’t necessarily mean he is looking for free time.  This might be the chance for a new TV gig.

On his Wednesday radio show, Stern mentioned plans for another TV gig, although he didn’t mention anything specific.

He also suggested that the show’s producer Simon Cowell should keep the judge’s seat warm for him.