Tyra Banks announces 'America's Next Top Model' departures
Tyra Banks on Thursday announced the departure of several key members of the "America's Next Top Model" team. "ANTM" long-timers Nigel Barker, Jay Manuel and J. Alexander won't be returning when the series begins its 19th cycle in the fall.
In a statement, "ANTM" executive producers Banks and Ken Mok said, "Nigel Barker, Jay Manuel and J. Alexander have been an integral part of the 'America's Next Top Model' brand and they helped turn this show into the household name it is today. They have been amazing assets to the show and will always be a part of the 'Top Model' family. We will continue to actively work with each of them on future projects."
Banks made a more personal statement on her Twitter account on Thursday night, writing, "Fierce & love 2 my @NigelBarker, @MrJayManuel & Miss J. #ANTM turned us in2 a family. Excited for what the future holds for us. XOXO TyTy."
The trio served as the reality show's panel of experts and had been with the show for years. Manuel, who oversaw the show's photo shoots, and Alexander, who was the runway coach, had been with the show since it's first cycle in 2003. Fashion photographer and judge Barker joined in 2004.
The long-running series has suffered from all-time low ratings during its most recent cycle, which began airing in February to an audience of just 1.3 million people for the premiere episode. That was down 45% from the audience for the previous cycle's premiere.
-- Patrick Kevin Day
Photo: Jay Manuel, left, and J. Alexander. Credit: Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times.