LOS ANGELES – Kara DioGuardi is following Ellen DeGeneres and Simon Cowell out the door at “American Idol.”

Her departure leaves Randy Jackson, who’s been with the singing contest from the start, the last judge standing, for now. Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez are the reported front-runners for the panel.

Entertainment mogul Simon Fuller, creator of the British show “Pop Idol” that was the template for the U.S. series he produces, called DioGuardi a standout songwriter whom he planned to work with in music “for many years to come.”

DioGuardi, whose exit had been rumored, is a hit machine whose songs have been recorded by Gwen Stefani, Faith Hill, Marc Anthony and others, including past “Idol” winners.

“I felt like I won the lottery when I joined ‘American Idol’ two years ago, but I feel like now is the best time to leave ‘Idol,’” DioGuardi said in a statement Friday, calling her experience as a judge on the show “amazing.”

Her statement, issued by Fox, didn’t elaborate on her reasons for leaving. Her contract reportedly had a one-year option remaining that Fox could have exercised.

Although she offered informed critiques on “Idol,” observers faulted her for lacking the pizazz — and unpredictability — that ex-judge Paula Abdul had provided.

DioGuardi’s departure comes as the top-rated show continues auditions for its 10th season, which starts airing in January. Tryouts have been held in six cities, with a seventh announced this week for Los Angeles on Sept. 22.

The final decision on which would-be pop stars make it on the show rests with the judges, who are likely to begin filming their audition segments this month.

Cowell started the exodus from “American Idol” earlier this year, when he announced he was leaving to launch another talent show for Fox, “The X Factor,” based on the hit British program he created.

In July, DeGeneres, who was brought in to replace Abdul, said she was leaving after a single season. The talk show host said she felt uncomfortable criticizing young talent.

Some critics had complained DeGeneres was more of a cheerleader than an incisive critic in the fashion of Cowell, who was consistently blunt in his remarks.

Judge: Rapper must heed gang ban from apartment complex

COLTON, Calif. – A judge has ruled that a rapper who touted his gang member status in songs and videos is subject to a 2008 gang injunction barring him from an apartment complex in his hometown of Colton.

The San Bernardino County district attorney said Friday that the judge ruled against 40 Glocc, whose real name is Lawrence White. The rapper argued his connection to the Colton City Crips was just for show.

The court agreed with three police officers who testified that White, 35, was a member of the gang, and loitered with other members as they packaged and sold drugs at the Arbor Terrace Apartments.

White has gained attention for his affiliation with 50 Cent’s label and feuds with famous hip-hop artists.

Eminem merits more royalties, panel rules

SAN FRANCISCO – A federal appeals court has found Eminem’s former production company is entitled to more money from downloads of the rapper’s songs and ringtones.

A federal jury last year had ruled against F.B.T. Productions LLC in its lawsuit against Universal Music Group seeking a greater share of revenue from downloads made between 2003 and 2008.

But the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found Friday that F.B.T.’s contract entitled Eminem and his producers to a 50-50 split with Universal for recordings licensed to digital distributors such as Apple Inc.’s iTunes.

The record label had paid F.B.T. and Eminem 12 percent of sales, the agreed-upon rate for physical albums.

F.B.T. discovered Eminem in 1995 before he signed in 1998 with Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Records. Universal’s Interscope Records distributes Aftermath recordings.