*Shaun Robinson, a staple at the long-running syndicated celebrity news program “Access Hollywood,” has announced she is leaving the show after 16 years.
“It’s been an incredible ride, and I’m so blessed to have been able to meet the people that I’ve met and to have covered the stories I covered on the show,” Robinson told People ahead of this evening’s official announcement from the show.
Robinson joined the team in 1999, and has served as co-anchor of “Access Hollywood Weekend” and correspondent for “Access Hollywood.”
She says she is moving on to focus on her production company, Robin Hood Productions, which scored a development deal with NBCUniversal Domestic TV Distribution. Under the recent pact, Robinson will develop and/or produce scripted and unscripted television projects across all platforms for NBCU’s domestic distribution division.
“Television has changed so much since I first sat at the anchor desk and it’s time to take my career to the next level. There are so many more opportunities awaiting me, both on-camera and as a producer,” Robinson added. “I’m extremely excited about creating fun and meaningful content through my production company… focusing specifically on empowering women and girls, about which I am so passionate.”
Robinson said the door is not locked on her chance to continue interviewing stars, and that she “will certainly be back in front of the camera soon.”
“I would love to have my own show, and I think I have a lot to say,” she said. “My dream job would be a younger, hipper version of ‘Inside the Actors Studio.’”
Her decision to pursue a new passion was actually inspired by a famous actress, too. Kerry Washington told Robinson she had faced a similar crossroads in her career before joining the cast of ABC’s hit drama “Scandal.”
“That conversation really resonated with me and inspired me to just go for my dreams and take that leap of faith,” Robinson said.
“For 16 years Shaun Robinson has been an integral part of the success of ‘Access Hollywood.’” Rob Silverstein, executive producer of “Access Hollywood,” said in a statement. “Shaun has a tremendous ability to put stars at ease and always has had a special connection with our viewers. We wish Shaun success and happiness as she moves into this new, exciting phase of her career.”