After five years, A.J. and Free have left as hosts of BET’s popular 106 & Park. The announcement came rather suddenly on Thursday July 28 when A.J. (with Free on the other end of a cell phone) announced that it was the last live show for the duo. A prerecorded show aired that Friday and BET personalities Tigger and Julissa hosted the show on Monday.
While BET executive Stephen Hill said that AJ and Free were “definitely not let go,” it seems that their exit may have been hastened. A.J. told the Associated Press that the new head of programming was looking to “change the face of the network” and that he was only offered a brief contract extension. While Free has not publicly commented on the reasons for her departure, she had not appeared on 106 & Park for weeks before last Thursday’s announcement. This also wasn’t the first time where at least one of the hosts appeared to be gone. Last summer, A.J. took an extended break from the show which prompted rumors of his departure. He even briefly appeared as a correspondent on the entertainment show Extra during his absence. He eventually returned to 106 & Park. Earlier this year he left again for weeks to shoot a pilot for UPN.
The hosts are moving on from their stint on 106 & Park. A.J. plans to open a restaurant called Mahogany in Brooklyn this fall while Free said that she will be opening a website soon. No permanent hosts have been announced to replace them on 106 & Park.
Popular Hosts Out at BET Music Show ‘106’ – AP via Yahoo
106 and Park Hosts Depart After 5 Years – BET.comPowered by Sidelines