Publish date:

<I>CNN's</I> Lou Dobbs Departs for a Start-Up Job

A reported clash with network exec Rick Kaplan sends the <I>CNNfn</I> president for the door.

CNN

confirmed that Lou Dobbs has resigned to join news and entertainment start-up

Space.com

, effective Friday.

The

CNNfn

president resigned from the network after butting heads with

CNN

U.S. President

Rick Kaplan

,

Dow Jones

reported. The wire service cited "people at the cable network."

The long-simmering feud between Dobbs, host of

CNN's

"Moneyline," and Kaplan went loudly public May 20, when Kaplan ordered the network to switch to coverage of a speech by

President Clinton

during Dobbs' show and Dobbs resisted. "

CNN

President Rick Kaplan wants us to return to Littleton," Dobbs told viewers in finally relenting.

Dobbs, like Kaplan, is a member of

Time Warner

(TWX)

unit

CNN's

executive committee, and he has chafed at having to report to Kaplan.

Dow Jones'

initial report was silent on Dobbs' plans.

Naturally, Wall Street's rumor mill was churning this evening about what Dobbs will do next, even as sources at

CNN

report that a meeting purportedly scheduled to announce his resignation has been postponed twice.

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"He's just sitting in his office waiting for a call from Ted," one television insider quipped, referring to

CNN

founder, sailing billionaire and

Atlanta Braves

owner

Ted Turner

. But the source, a veteran of the industry, speculated "nothing" is going to happen tonight, although Dobbs is not hosting "Moneyline" this evening (meaning the graphics folks at

CNN

can scrap the "with Lou Dobbs" part of the title).

One rumor has Dobbs heading up his own Internet company, and cases of champagne reportedly were chilling outside his office.

The Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition

reported that Dobbs is said to be planning an investment in

Space.com, which thus far is a one-page Web site featuring a

John F. Kennedy

quote and a teaser line.

However, the thought is "ridiculous," one Wall Street player said. "A legitimate journalist leaving to run an Internet company would signal the top of the market." (Of course, many a legitimate journalist would beg to differ.)

The source speculated it would make more sense for Dobbs to go to

CNBC

, perhaps to replace

Tyler Mathison

as

Maria Bartiromo's

co-host on the never-lived-up-to-the-hype "Business Center" program.

But TV insiders say the notoriously prickly Dobbs would never share the spotlight with anyone. If he were going to

CNBC

it'd be for something much bigger than a mere on-air job, they said.

What Should Lou Dobbs Do Next?

Start an Internet company

Go to another network

Become a full-time skydiver

Write for TheStreet.com