L.A. Reid says he will not return for season 3 of "The X Factor," Simon Cowell's FOX singing competition series that has featured him as a co-judge since its 2011 debut, adding that he plans to concentrate on his work as CEO and chairman of Epic Records.
Reid made his comments to the NBC TV show "Access Hollywood" in an interview published on Thursday evening, when three acts were revealed as the finalists of season 2 who will perform on next week's two-part finale. They are competing for a $5 million prize -- the largest in reality television -- and a record contract.
"I have decided that I will not return to 'The X Factor' next year," Reid told "Access Hollywood." "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. 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."
Spokespeople for FOX and production company FremantleMedia declined to comment. A rep for second production company Syco Television, Cowell's firm, had no immediate response.
Reid told "Access Hollywood" that he owes "so much" to Cowell, a fellow judge, adding that they have a "great relationship" and that he will "always be in business with him."
It is also unclear if Reid will be replaced. He told "Access Hollywood" that if it was up to him, Jon Bon Jovi would take his seat at the judges' panel.
The rock star's band Bon Jovi is set to go on a world tour in 2013 and will be in Europe in the early summer, the time that preliminary "X Factor" auditions held in front of the judges were taped this year.
"I have a huge responsibility to a roster of artists and it's kind of time for me to stop doing the 'me' show," Reid said, adding that he is not ruling out the possibility of coming back to the show after the next season ends.
Singers and Bands currently signed to his label include "X Factor" season 1 winner Melanie Amaro, Ozzy Osbourne, Fiona Apple, Avril Lavigne, Ciara, Judas Priest, The Script, The Fray, Sean Kingston and Jennifer Lopez, who like Cowell, is a former "American Idol" judge.
It is unclear whether the other two "X Factor" judges, pop stars Britney Spears and Demi Lovato, will return for season 3, which was announced in October and is expected to begin in the fall of 2013. Their participation on the show confirmed in May, just before they began filming the auditions and months they made their on-screen debut on "The X Factor" season 2 premiere in September.
Days before, they had talked to E! Online about the possibility of returning for a third season of "The X Factor."
"Of course I'd hope to be on it for more," Lovato told the outlet. "This show has been so incredible. The best experience of my life. I can only hope for another season."
Spears said: "It's a possibility, definitely."
The all-male trio Emblem3, mentored by Cowell, was eliminated from "The X Factor" on Thursday. The remaining three acts on "The X Factor" are Carly Rose Sonenclar, a 13-year-old former Broadway singer mentored by Spears, country crooner Tate Stevens, whose mentor is Reid, and Fifth Harmony, a singing group of five female contestants put together during the show and mentored by Cowell.
The two-part season 3 finale airs on Wednesday, December 19 at 8 p.m. ET and on Thursday, December 20 at 8 p.m. ET.
(Pictured above: Left: L.A. Reid arrives at 'The X Factor' Viewing Party, sponsored by Sony X Headphones, on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012 at The Grove in Hollywood, California. / Fifth Harmony, Tate Stevens and Carly Rose Sonenclar appear in a publicity photo after being chosen to advance to the finals on season 2 of 'The X Factor' on Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012. Credit: Ray Mickshaw / FOX)