Since Shaun Robinson first stepped onto the Access Hollywood set in 1999, time has flown by. And after spending 16 years on the entertainment show, the host is moving on.
“It’s been an incredible ride, and I’m so blessed to have been able to meet the people that I’ve met and to have covered the stories I covered on the show,” Robinson tells PEOPLE.
Her decision to go didn’t come easily. Three years ago, Robinson wanted to explore new opportunities and considered leaving but later changed her mind.
It was only after a conversation with Kerry Washington late last year that Robinson pushed herself.
“She told me about a point in her career where she said ‘I want to try something different,’ and she tried TV, and look where it got her. Everyone loves Scandal,” she says. “That conversation really resonated with me and inspired me to just go for my dreams and take that leap of faith.”
After losing her father in April to cancer, Robinson says she really began to understand the message he always tried to teach her, and she knew it was time to make the move.
“My dad would always say happiness doesn’t come from anything external, it comes from within,” she says. “It’s this journey I have been on for years, and I’m ready to explore where that journey will take me.”
What’s next for Robinson?
“I have a production company called Robin Hood Productions, and my passion is empowering young women to live their lives as fully as they can,” she says. “So I’m working on a few projects now that show women in very powerful positions.”
And there’s always the option for more TV.
“I would love to have my own show, and I think I have a lot to say,” she says. “My dream job would be a younger, hipper version of Inside the Actors Studio.”