Tyra Banks fires three ‘America’s Next Top Model’ co-stars

By Daniel S Levine,

Tyra Banks shook up America’s Next Top Model, the CW competition show that she hosts. On Friday, Banks confirmed that three of her co-stars would not be returning to the show.

The New York Post first reported on Thursday that Banks was letting photographer Nigel Barker, creative director Jay Manuel and “runway trainer” J. Alexander go. Sources for the paper said that all three were told that their contracts would not be renewed for the 19th season of the series. They had been with the show since its debut season in 2003.

One insider told the Post that it was a “production decision” and it was one of the “major changes planned” for the fall season.

Banks confirmed their departure by tweeting, “Fierce & love 2 my @NigelBarker, @MrJayManuel & Miss J. #ANTM turned us in2 a family. Excited for what the future holds for us. XOXO TyTy” on Friday. Banks also retweeted messages from Baker, who wished her good luck for the next season. “It has been a pleasure working with you the past 8 years. Much love Nigel,” he added.

Baker also released a statement on his website, calling the show “an exciting chapter in my life.”

“I will miss the cast, the crew and ANTM will always have a special place in my heart, having made life-long friendships with countless fond memories,” he wrote.

In an interview with E! News, Barker said that the decision was expected. "It wasn't a shock. I'm friends with Tyra and the producers...There had been a discussion that ratings were down and that something like this would happen,” he told the site.



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