Anchor's departure effective immediately

Controversial CNN host Lou Dobbs announced his resignation from the network Wednesday, doubtless yielding private sighs of relief at the Turner cabler.

Dobbs’ outspoken commentary on immigration policy and his repeated urging for President Obama to produce his birth certificate — lending support to a “birther” movement” that the network’s own reporting had discredited — has led to orchestrated campaigns by liberal activists seeking his ouster.

In opening his program Wednesday, Dobbs said that he had been urged by unnamed people to “engage in constructive problem-solving” and had sought release from his contract to “pursue new opportunities.”

There has already been speculation that Dobbs — who also hosts a syndicated radio program — might land at Fox News Channel’s struggling Fox Business Network, which is trying to establish itself as a legitimate alternative to CNBC and recently hired ABC News’ John Stossel. The New York Times reported that Dobbs met earlier with Fox News CEO Roger Ailes.

In a statement, CNN president Jon Klein said that Dobbs had “decided to carry the banner of advocacy journalism elsewhere.”

Dobbs has spent most of the last 30 years with CNN, overseeing its business coverage from 1980-99. He left for two years to launch an entrepreneurial venture that foundered but returned in 2001 and began anchoring “Lou Dobbs Tonight” two years later.

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