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Simon Cowell Picks First 'X Factor' Judge: L.A. Reid

Antonio Reid
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures
Antonio "L.A." Reid

Sources tell THR "it's a done deal."

It was long rumored and now looks like it's come true: Island Def Jam chairman Antonio "L.A." Reid will be a judge on Fox's The X Factor

Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter "it's a done deal." Reid, whose contract with Universal Music is up in December, will get an early release so that he can take part in Simon Cowell's show, which awards a Sony Music recording contract worth $5 million to the winner. Auditions for The X Factor begin March 27 in Los Angeles. 

An announcement regarding Reid is to be made this week, according to an insider.

Reid is expected to be one of four judges. It also is believed that he will land a position at Sony Music, which is about to undergo a major management restructuring when current UMG chairman Doug Morris steps in as CEO of Sony Music on July 1.

Reps for Universal Music and Fox, which will air The X Factor this September, would not comment. 

When THR interviewed Reid for a February cover story on "The Business of Justin Bieber," the executive insisted rumors of a move to TV were just that. “People think that I went on some campaign or something, I did nothing except my work,” he said.

Asked about his interest in an X Factor judging gig and Reid was vague, telling THR he had not "screen tested" for such a position, but he wasn't necessarily opposed to the idea.

He added, “To each his own. I don't criticize. Whatever works, works. I think music on television certainly has a place and it's important. In some ways, TV has become as impactful as radio once was. It's just another way of doing it. You can find music on American Idol, on YouTube, on KIIS-FM or on a mixed tape. The more platforms we have, the better off we are as an industry.”

Cowell previously told Access Hollywood that his former American Idol colleague Paula Abdul, George Michael, former Pussycat Dolls singer Nicole Scherzinger and Mariah Carey also are being considered.