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article imageLate-night talk-show host David Letterman says he's retiring

By Nathan Salant     Apr 3, 2014 in Entertainment
New York - Longtime television talk-show host David Letterman announced his retirement Thursday during the afternoon taping of his program.
Longtime television talk-show host David Letterman announced his retirement Thursday during the afternoon taping of his program.
Letterman, 67, whose irreverent "Late Show" show has aired for 21 years on CBS since the host left NBC after being passed over for the coveted Tonight Show, surprised an afternoon studio audience with the announcement.
"We don't have the timetable for this precisely down," Letterman told the audience at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City, according to Cable News Network (CNN).
"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."
Letterman's announcement received a standing ovation from the audience, but had actually leaked out a few minutes earlier when a performer at the taping, Mike Mills, tweeted "Dave just announced his retirement," CNN said.
The news comes just weeks after Letterman's longtime rival, Jay Leno, who beat him out for the "Tonight Show" more than 20 years earlier, retired for the second time.
Leno was replaced on the Tonight Show by Jimmy Fallon who had taken over Letterman's show on NBC when Letterman left for CBS.
Letterman said in his monologue at the start of Thursday's show that he did not tell his network bosses ahead of time that he would retire next year.
"The man who owns this network, Leslie Moonves, he and I have had a relationship for 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," Letterman said.
"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," Letterman continued.
Moonves, the CEO of CBS Corp., issued a statement Thursday afternoon thanking Letterman for years of service and humor.
"There is only one David Letterman," Moonves said.
"His greatness will always be remembered here, and he will certainly sit among the pantheon of this business," Moonves said.
Letterman became well-known for his irreverent style as host of NBC's Late Night With David Letterman from 1982 to 1993, where he innovated now-famous segments such as the "Top-10 List," "Stupid Pet Tricks" and "Viewer Mail."
Letterman also was known for his long-running on-stage relationship with bandleader Paul Shaffer, who left NBC and moved to CBS when Letterman did.
More about Letterman, Late night, CBS, moonves, Tonight show
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