The anchor dropped the news in a lengthy on-air statement Friday, saying how grateful she was for her time with the show, but that she has a “list” of what she still wants to accomplish.
“As I take on that list of things still to come, it means leaving this position, but it does not mean I am leaving the genre,” she said. “I’ll be back and it won’t be long. I’m going to enjoy some time off with the most wonderful gal in my life, my daughter, because they grow up way too fast. She is always my priority and then I’ll focus on my new project.”
O’Dell didn’t provide further details on the new endeavor.
“For almost nine years, Nancy has welcomed viewers to ET every night with her signature southern charm. From anchoring both royal weddings, gracing every major award show red carpet and interviewing the likes of Garth Brooks, JLo and Oprah, her expertise behind the microphone is undeniable,” ET executive producer Erin Johnson, said in a statement. “We can’t thank Nancy enough for her dedication to keeping ET the gold standard in entertainment news and we have no doubt she will continue to succeed in all future endeavors.”
O’Dell started at the entertainment news program in January 2011; Kevin Frazier joined as her co-anchor in 2014. Before joining ET, O’Dell served as anchor and correspondent for Access Hollywood for 13 years.
Read her full statement below:
“Tonight, I’m excited to tell you about the start of a new chapter in my life…a new chapter for this small-town, grateful girl from Myrtle Beach, SC, who used to watch fellow Carolinian Leeza Gibbons and Mary Hart on Entertainment Tonight thinking, “Wow, what beautiful, powerful women and what a cool job they have!” … to now having that job for 9 years and being a veteran host on the red carpet for almost 25 years. I never take for granted how you have welcomed me into your home and your busy lives. Not long ago, a dear friend told me to make a life list, writing down on one side career milestones, and on the other side, what I still want to accomplish. The first list contains a near embarrassment of riches for me; like being chosen as the host to step into the shoes of the legendary Mary Hart, what an honor, then the people, all the celebrities who have let me into their private worlds, many becoming good friends, and getting to work with so many wonderful and talented people here. I wish I had the time to list names because so many will forever be in my heart, like you, KFray (Kevin Frazier). As I take on that list of things still to come, it means leaving this position, but it does not mean I am leaving the genre. I’ll be back and it won’t be long. I’m going to enjoy some time off with the most wonderful gal in my life, my daughter, because they grow up way too fast. She is always my priority and then I’ll focus on my new project. My manager/agent and dear friend of 20 years, John Ferriter, helped me get this job at ET. He passed away just a week ago. Shortly before his passing, he told me life is too short, do what makes you happy, you’re creating your own best life. I think I’ve heard Oprah say that too… two smart people… but I’m proud to have this show as part of my story. This last sign off is for you, John, and for all the viewers whom I have an unbreakable bond with from our daily chance to talk all things entertainment. That bond will never change. So, it’s not goodbye, but rather just turning the page to the next chapter.”