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"At the end of the day, it's going to be what Reid wants to do."
——a N.Y. Daily News source
IS L.A. REID STAYING OR GOING?
YOU BE THE JUDGE
Could He Really Be Trying to Choose Among IDJ, Idol and X Factor? We Should All Be So Lucky
The media continues speculating about the plans of and possible scenarios for respected heavy hitter L.A. Reid. Noting that UMG’s “publicity machine” had spent Wednesday beating back blog reports that Reid had been fired, the N.Y. Daily News Gatecrasher column offered, “we hear the speculation was tied to Reid's discussions with producers of both American Idol and The X Factor about becoming a judge on one of the shows. A source close to the situation says that if X Factor, which is produced by rival Sony, makes Reid a firm offer, he'll have to leave Universal to take it.”

Columnist Frank DiGiacomo then quotes a “source close to the scene” as stating, "There's no plan to fire Reid or move him out of Universal Music Group." The source added that Lucian Grainge had suggested that Reid might be a good fit as an Idol judge now that UMG has become the series' music partner. Since then, the source says, Reid has had talks with the producers of Idol about joining Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson as the show's fourth judge, though it's unlikely such a post will materialize.

The source was apparently in an extremely chatty mood, further noting that after Reid talked to Idol, Simon Cowell spoke to him about a similar gig for X Factor. “At this point,” DiGiacomo speculates, “Reid does not appear to have a firm offer from either show. But our source says the Island Def Jam chairman would not be able to take the X Factor gig and remain with Universal. Should that happen, Reid would be leaving of his own accord and not with Grainge's footprint on the seat of his pants.”

And the kicker, from said source to the columnist: "At the end of the day, it's going to be what Reid wants to do."

A spokesman for Reid referred DiGiacomo to a UMG corporate spokesman, who declined to comment, leaving us to wonder who’s speaking to the press about the situation.

Digital Music News chimed in with an item of its own—and its own set of sources—this morning, declaring that “Reid is being pushed from Island Def Jam, according to multiple sources at Universal Music Group.  Super-producer The-Dream also appears to be getting the chop.  Others close to the situation are confirming the move to Digital Music News, though official UMG representatives are attempting to quash the story.”  

We’ll leave the last word to our own I.B. Bad. In his latest column, which will appear in full right here tomorrow morning, our in-house pundit writes:

All concerned at UMG have emphatically denied rampant rumors this week about the imminent departure of IDJ ruler L.A. Reid—a move some had predicted from Lucian Grainge as part of his anticipated tweaking of the company. Nonetheless, the smart money is on Reid—who has been one of Universal’s most prolific rainmakers since taking charge of IDJ in 2004—to eventually make a career change that will find him as a judge on either X Factor or American Idol, while also returning to his entrepreneurial roots with an associated new label. The latter outcome would put Reid in close proximity to his IGA counterpart Jimmy Iovine, who is playing a key role in the revamping of the show following Grainge’s pick-up of the Idol musical franchise.

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