Dobbs Wednesday told viewers he was leaving CNN when the evening's program ended, saying "some leaders in media, politics and business" wanted him to "engage in constructive problem solving as well as to contribute positively to the great understanding of the issues of our day."
The New York Times said Dobbs in recent months had been asked to bypass his trademark outspokenness to a more objective style of newscast.
Dobbs was among those on air for CNN when "Cable News Network" began cablecasting in 1980. In recent years his strong views on illegal immigrants seemed to dominate his programs, which were among the most popular on CNN.
President of CNN/U.S. Jonathan Klein issued a statement saying: "Lou has now decided to carry the banner of advocacy journalism elsewhere.
"All of us will miss his appetite for big ideas, the megawatt smile and larger than life presence he brought to our newsroom."