Late night icon made announcement during taping of Thursday's show
David Letterman plans to retire from the Late Show on CBS in 2015, the host announced during a taping of his show on Thursday, CNN’s Brian Stelter reported via Twitter. Mike Mills, the bassist for REM—the musical guest on the show Thursday—broke the news on Twitter.
According to a statement, Letterman said that he had informed President and CEO of CBS Corporation Leslie Moonves that he will step down as his contract expires:
The man who owns this network, Leslie Moonves, he and I have had a relationship for years and years and years, and we have had this conversation in the past, and we agreed that we would work together on this circumstance and the timing of this circumstance. And I phoned him just before the program, and I said “Leslie, it’s been great, you’ve been great, and the network has been great, but I’m retiring.”
During a standing ovation by the audience at the Ed Sullivan theater, he added: “We don’t have a timetable for this precisely down — I think it will be at least a year or so, but sometime in the not too distant future, 2015 for the love of God, in fact, Paul and I will be wrapping things up,”
Letterman has been a late night broadcaster for more than 32 years. He has recorded almost 6,000 episodes. He was the first host of Late Night at NBC beginning in 1982. He moved to the Late Show at CBS in 1993 and has been there since. The Late Show has won eight Emmys and been nominated for 108 during his tenure. It also received a Peabody.
Other late night hosts, celebs and journalists have already responded to the announcement:
Letterman's 2015 retirement: My sources have said first in line to replace him is Stephen Colbert. Will it happen?—
Nikki Finke (@NikkiFinke) April 03, 2014
I love Letterman but I am really excited about what this could mean for the diversification of late night. Trying not to be a pessimist…—
Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) April 03, 2014
Others on Twitter are speculating that Jay Leno will take his spot. Letterman outlasted Leno for the title of longest-serving late night host in history.