TV presenter Kim Je-dong was dismissed Saturday from KBS weekend primetime show "Star Golden Bell," drawing speculation that the state-run broadcaster was pushed to sack the man well-known for liberal political ideas.
A KBS production director was quoted as saying that Kim, in charge since 2004, had been in his position too long.
Kim's recording on Tuesday will be aired as the last edition, the broadcaster said.
Since Kim stepped down from hosting KBS2's "Entertainment Weekly" last December, he has lost all his posts at the nation's largest broadcaster.
"Star Golden Bell" is a highly rated quiz show, which airs on Saturday at 5:15 p.m. Twenty celebrity guests compete to win money for charity. Kim was said to be the right fit for the job.
His agent Kim Young-jun said that the host is more than baffled.
"The ratings were always good enough to secure his position, and Kim maintained a good reputation on and off the show," he explained.
However, he also acknowledged that Kim has been handling the situation quite well. "He had a couple of drinks with friends last night. He said he is sorry for everything," he said.
Suspicions are rising over what pushed KBS to sack the host.
Internet user Ttoliappa said, "It seems that the ruling camp has already graded Kim as anti-Lee Myung-bak. This could be a backlash against Kim and a warning to fellow liberalist entertainers."
Kim hosted a ceremony for the late former President Roh Moo-hyun back in May. He also led an event Friday marking the launch of Roh's foundation.
Kim was also forthright in expressing his political views. In response to unionists of Ssangyong Motor being dragged out from a plant by police after days of protests against reported downsizing, he twittered, "Let's not forget Ssangyong. We all can become the weaker one someday."
This is not the first time a celebrity has been suspected of being dismissed due to liberal ideas. Rocker Yoon Do-hyun was suspended from his long-running KBS2 show "Love Letter" last November for alleged poor ratings. Yoon and Kim have the same agent.