Nancy O’Dell Quits ‘Access Hollywood’

(Jason Merritt, Getty Images)

(Jason Merritt, Getty Images)

It was a big news day over on the ‘Access Hollywood‘ website.

There was a report of John Mayer launching a holiday baking competition, a story about Kevin Jonas planning to marry this weekend, and Sam Worthington revealing his semi-nude experience making ‘Avatar.’

But topping the list was news about the show itself.

In what came as a shock to viewers, ‘Access’ co-anchor Nancy O’Dell, 43, announced that she is quitting the show.

The former Miss South Carolina has co-anchored ‘Access’ since it began 13 years ago.

“Having been at Access Hollywood from day one of the show, this has been an incredibly tough decision for O’Dell,” her publicist, Annie Jeeves, said in a statement issued on O’Dell’s behalf. “She will miss her Access Hollywood family, but looks forward to still seeing them all on the red carpet.”

O’Dell plans to continue working in entertainment journalism, but she chose not to disclose her new endeavor.

Several reports indicated O’Dell’s departure might have resulted from her discomfort with ‘Access’s sensational tone and introduction of TMZ-like segments.  But her publicist insisted her “decision is based solely on Nancy’s desire to take her career to the next level and is completely amicable.”

O’Dell, who still plans to host NBC’s coverage of the Tournament of Roses parade on New Year’s Day, is married to Keith Zubchevich, with whom she has a 2-year-old daughter, Ashby.

Her final appearance on ‘Access’ is December 18.

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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