By James Hibberd
Updated March 18, 2011 at 07:13 PM EDT
Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images
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UPDATE: Fox has made it official, announcing Reid as an X Factor judge. “L.A. Reid is one of the most celebrated music producers and songwriters of our time and knows exactly what it takes to find and nurture a global superstar,” said Fox alternative president Mike Darnell. “Not only does he have an insanely good eye for talent, but he also has the personality and savvy to go toe-to-toe with Simon Cowell, so I can’t wait to see those two music moguls together at The X Factor judges’ table.”


Insiders confirm to EW that Island Def Jam chairman and music producer L.A. Reid is near a deal to take a judge’s seat on Simon Cowell’s singing competition series The X Factor.

“L.A. wants to do it,” says a source close to the deal. “He has his sights set on a seat on that panel, and apparently Simon would like it to happen.”

Reid is a interesting choice for the show, since it gets away from strategy adopted last year by American Idol and the path selected by NBC’s upcoming The Voice of going after celebrity singers. Instead, Cowell is tapping somebody with a background more like his own. Reid is a behind-the-scenes music mogul — currently the chairman and CEO of Island Def Jam — whose talent list includes Mariah Carey, Pink, TLC and Usher. For host of the show, singer Enrique Iglesias has been approached, though an insider said other names are still being considered.

Earlie, Cowell let drop he was considering Paula Abdul, Mariah Carey, Nicole Scherzinger and George Michael for judges.

The X Factor premieres this fall, and auditions begin March 27 in Los Angeles.

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The X Factor

Simon Cowell, Demi Lovato, Kelly Rowland, and Paulina Rubio judge Season 3.
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