NEW YORK — Lou Dobbs, president of CNN's financial network CNNfn and the anchor of CNN's hugely popular "Moneyline News Hour" business show, quit on Tuesday to join an Internet venture.
Dobbs was planning to announce to his staff he was leaving for Space.com, a start-up Web site he is founding that will carry news, entertainment and educational material on outer space.
The anchor, who had a sometimes stormy relationship with CNN's top executives and at one point was considered a top contender for the job of running CNN, had originally planned to launch the Web venture while continuing his CNN duties. CNN executives, however, ruled that there would be a conflict of interest to do both, said a person familiar with the situation. Dobbs couldn't be reached for comment.
Dobbs' departure comes on the heels of his recent dust-up with Richard Kaplan, president of CNN/U.S., over Kaplan's decision to bump Dobbs' "Moneyline" in favor of live coverage of a speech being given by President Clinton. In returning to the speech, Dobbs cited Kaplan on-air and made obvious his displeasure at the decision.