TORONTO - The CBC parted ways with one of its biggest names, "Q" radio host Jian Ghomeshi, in a surprise announcement on Sunday.
"The CBC is saddened to announce its relationship with Jian Ghomeshi has come to an end," the broadcaster said in a terse statement released Sunday afternoon. "This decision was not made without serious deliberation and careful consideration."
"Jian has made an immense contribution to the CBC and we wish him well."
Sunday's announcement from the CBC was quickly followed by a release stating Ghomeshi has instructed his lawyers to sue the public broadcaster for "general and punitive damages for among other things, breach of confidence and bad faith in the amount of $50 million."
The announcement came after Ghomeshi announced Friday he was taking "much needed personal time" away from the broadcaster.
Chuck Thompson, a CBC spokesman, provided few other details on the reasons behind the split.
"Information came to our attention recently that in CBC's judgment precludes us from continuing our relationship with Jian Ghomeshi," Thompson said in a phone interview.
On Friday, Thompson said that Ghomeshi's hiatus was for an "undetermined" amount of time to deal with "personal issues."
Ghomeshi could not be immediately reached through his publicist and did not immediately respond to direct emails.
On Friday, Ghomeshi tweeted "Thanks for all the well wishes, you guys. I'm ok. Just taking some much needed personal time."
Earlier this month, the radio personality wrote on his fan Facebook page about the recent death of his father.
"My dear friends, forgive me if I am lost. My heart has been broken," Ghomeshi wrote. "I cannot stop the tears. He was my hero."
Ghomeshi was scheduled to host the Scotiabank Giller Prize gala on CBC-TV on Nov. 10 in Toronto. It wasn't clear whether he would still preside over the gala.
It wasn't immediately clear what would happen to "Q," a daily national talk show on CBC Radio One and CBC-TV featuring interviews with celebrities and prominent international figures which Ghomeshi co-created.
His last day in the host's chair was Thursday.
The cultural affairs program, which launched in 2007, is broadcast on over 180 NPR/PRI stations and syndicated in the U.S.
The Toronto-based Ghomeshi, 47, is also a published author, with the 2012 memoir "1982" and articles in various papers. He also hosted the CBC-TV program "Play."