LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Pop star Jennifer Lopez will exit television singing contest "American Idol" as a judge but could return as a guest, possibly as a mentor, she told the show's host Ryan Seacrest in a radio interview on Friday.
Lopez would follow Aerosmith's Steven Tyler out the door of the top-rated US TV show which is headed for a major shakeup when it returns in the fall season and struggles to reverse a slide in viewership during recent years.
"I just don't feel like I can be there every single day all the time like I have been for the past two years. I feel like I have to do other things," Lopez told Seacrest on his morning radio show in Los Angeles.
A spokeswoman for the Fox TV network, which airs "American Idol," said the broadcaster had no immediate comment.
Lopez has for weeks been the subject of much speculation over whether she would stay on the program, and as recently as Thursday in an interview on NBC's morning news program "Today," she indicated she would leave.
But she used the strongest words yet to indicate she had made up her mind in the interview with Seacrest, who is the host of "American Idol."
"You dread a conversation like this," she told Seacrest. "I honestly feel like the time has come that I have to get back to doing the other things that I do, that I've put kind of on hold because I like 'Idol' so much," she said.
Seacrest asked, "is the door open," and she replied: "I feel like no matter what you guys need over there, I'm always gonna be here. Like if you need me to come and be a mentor."
Seacrest's radio sidekick, Ellen K., then said "it sounds like you've made up your mind," and Lopez replied. "Yeah."
Fox is a unit of media company News Corp.
(Reporting By Bob Tourtellotte and Courtney Garcia; Editing by Andrew Hay)