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Pat O'Brien Out of The Insider

Pat O'Brien Albert L. Ortega/WireImage.com

Pat O'Brien is hanging up his mic.

The longtime TV personality is leaving his post as a correspondent on the syndicated celebrity-gossip show The Insider after more than four years on the job.

No official reason for his departure was given, but a rep for the show indicated that it was a mutual decision.

"Pat O'Brien is a talented broadcaster who has been a part of The Insider family from the very beginning," the rep said in a statement to People. "Although we have decided to part ways, everyone at CBS Television Distribution and The Insider greatly appreciate and respect all his contributions to our show. We wish Pat much success in his future endeavors."

The news comes just days after O'Brien, 60, showed up in Des Moines, Iowa, prompting speculation that he and a camera crew were on the trail of vice presidential candidate Joe Biden's wife, Jill.

Although it's also possible that O'Brien was there to thumb his nose at his own show.

In an email sent over the weekend to staffers at the Insider and sister show Entertainment Tonight, O'Brien seemingly took issue with the show's focus on fashion while people all over Iowa are struggling to put food on the table.

"Hi, folks, I just spent a couple of days in Iowa—I'm a little bit of a favorite son there," the South Dakota-born newsman said, per a copy obtained by the New York Post, "and I spoke with maybe a thousand people and was very hands-on. Even Joe Biden said, 'You should be running [for president]!' But what I came away with was, these people can't afford gas, books, food or schools or movies!

"I was approached a hundred times by people asking, 'Can you help us?' I tried to tell them we care, but they didn't buy it. They wanted to, but watching...Lara [Spencer] pick out accessories makes the viewers want to vomit. I'll get killed for this, but I'm actually the one not afraid for my job. I want people to be happy."

Interesting way to go about it.

A former coanchor of the show, O'Brien returned to The Insider in April following a stint in rehab, his second in three years.

His first sojourn into treatment in 2005 came shortly after a series of slurred, sexually explicit voicemails that O'Brien had left for an undisclosed female made the media rounds. In May 2005, during a televised interview with Dr. Phil, O'Brien publicly apologized for what substance abuse had done to his family.

He joined the Insider crew in 2004 after his seven-year run on Access Hollywood came to an end. Prior to his foray into entertainment coverage, O'Brien was largely associated with sports broadcasting, working for CBS Sports for nearly 20 years and covering the 2000 and 2004 Summer Olympics for NBC.

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