After four seasons on the reality competition series, Stern, 61, announced the news on his radio show Wednesday morning.
His departure is not much of a surprise – in a network statement released back in 2013 when NBC announced Stern’s return for season 9, it appeared as if his choice to quit sooner rather than later was an inevitability: “I really, really did struggle with this decision because … I’ve been working a long time,” he said. “I really wanted to decide if this was going to take away too much … free time.
“Did I really still enjoy doing it? Did I have something to say? Is it something I should be involved with still?” He then conceded, jokingly, that the “big black hole” inside him that “demands attention won.”