Simon Cowell will leave American Idol after the upcoming season, his brother says.
"A press statement is being prepared which will confirm what everybody expected: Simon will leave Idol at the end of 2010 to concentrate on bringing the American version of The X Factor to U.S. TV in 2011," Tony Cowell announced in his weekly podcast on his site, The Cowell Factor.
Simon Cowell near deal for three years of Idol
Fox declined to comment on the statement from Cowell's brother, a writer and broadcaster who co-wrote Simon's autobiography.
Cowell, whose existing contract expires after the upcoming ninth season and prevents him from bringing X Factor stateside, has been coy about his future with Idol. However, over the summer, the acerbic judge was reportedly near a deal to lock him in with the Fox juggernaut for another three seasons. The new deal would also allow him to executive-produce the American version of The X Factor for Fox.
Simon Cowell to bring X Factor to the U.S.?
The X Factor is a music talent competition similar to Idol that launched the career of Leona Lewis.
Cowell would be the second judge to jump ship, following Paula Abdul's departure in August. Ellen DeGeneres has been tapped to replace her.
The ninth season of Idol kicks off Jan. 12 at 8/7c.