The news was announced to Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune staff on Tuesday. Embassy Row's Michael Davies will take over as executive producer on an interim basis.
"I'm writing to let you know that Mike will no longer be serving as EP of Wheel and Jeopardy! effective immediately," Suzanne Prete, EVP, Business and Strategy, Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! said in a note to staff. "We had hoped that when Mike stepped down from the host position at Jeopardy! it would have minimized the disruption and internal difficulties we have all experienced these last few weeks. That clearly has not happened."
ET has learned that the episodes 46-year-old Richards already hosted for Jeopardy! will still air as scheduled, starting Sept. 13.
"Dear Team, it pains me that these past incidents and comments have cast such a shadow on Jeopardy! as we look to start a new chapter," he said in an internal note to staff. "As I mentioned last week, I was deeply honored to be asked to host the syndicated show and was thrilled by the opportunity to expand my role. However, over the last several days it has become clear that moving forward as host would be too much of a distraction for our fans and not the right move for the show. As such, I will be stepping down as host effective immediately."
"I want to apologize to each of you for the unwanted negative attention that has come to Jeopardy! over the last few weeks and for the confusion and delays this is now causing," he also said. "I know I have a lot of work to do to regain your trust and confidence."
One day prior, Richards said he was "deeply sorry" after The Ringer reported on sexist comments he made on the podcast he started in 2013 called The Randumb Show. During the podcast, Richards made multiple questionable comments about women's bodies, including asking his female assistant and his female co-host whether they had ever taken any nude photos and asking to see them. In another episode, he referred to his co-host as a "booth ho" and a "booth slut."
"It is humbling to confront a terribly embarrassing moment of misjudgment, thoughtlessness, and insensitivity from nearly a decade ago," Richards said in a statement. "Looking back now, there is no excuse, of course, for the comments I made on this podcast and I am deeply sorry."
"The podcast was intended to be a series of irreverent conversations between longtime friends who had a history of joking around," the statement continued. "Even with the passage of time, it’s more than clear that my attempts to be funny and provocative were not acceptable, and I have removed the episodes. My responsibilities today as a father, husband, and a public personality who speaks to many people through my role on television means I have substantial and serious obligations as a role model, and I intend to live up to them."