After hosting the reality show for eight years, Sweeney says walking away was tough
It’s so hard to say goodbye.
“Just thinking about the response I’ve gotten from fans and former contestants makes me tear up,” Sweeney tells PEOPLE exclusively in this week’s issue. “It’s been an amazing run. I’m so proud.”
As for why she’s moving on now, Sweeney says it was a group decision. “Times change and situations change,” she says. “It’s a tough time in TV and producers have a lot of tough choices to make in the landscape. We talked and it wasn’t an easy decision. It was just the right time for me to do something different.”
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It was recently announced that Biggest Loser trainer Bob Harper is taking over as the show’s new host. Sweeney, who just last year signed off from her decades long run as Sami Brady on Days of Our Lives, knows all about big changes. “Change is good,” she says. “I feel great. I’ve had some time to get used to it.”
While she’s keeping busy with her new movie Love on Air (premiering Sept. 26 on Hallmark) and her new partnership with Sleep Number, the wife and mother of two says she’s enjoying the added free time. “It’s been a year of spending time with my kids [Ben, 10, and Megan, 6,] and taking them to school every day. That’s been a big shift and really important for our family.”
For more on Alison Sweeney’s next moves, pick up this week’s issue of People, on newsstands Friday