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'American Idol' Producer Reacts to Chernin Exit

American Idol Executive Producer Cecile Frot-Coutaz told B&C Monday she would miss Peter Chernin after hearing reports over lunch that the News Corp. president-COO would step down from his post.

Frot-Coutaz, who also serves as CEO of Idol-producer FremantleMedia North America, called Chernin “a big part of the show,” which airs on News Corp.-owned Fox. Idol, currently in its eighth season, continues to be the most-watched show on television by all measures.

Chernin has been known over the years to remain closely involved in programming decisions at the company even as he rose to the high-level role he is now expected to leave.

“He understands the show [Idol] in terms of what works, he understands the need to protect it and he was there from the beginning,” Frot-Coutaz says. “We’ll miss him.”