On tonight's “Late Show,” on CBS, television host David Letterman announced that he will retire in 2015.
During the taping of tonight's show, Letterman told CBS president and CEO Leslie Moonves that he will step down as host of his late-night talk show when his current 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,” Letterman told the audience, “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.'
“I just want to reiterate my thanks for the support from the network, all of the people who have worked here, all of the people in the theater, all of the people on the staff, everybody at home, thank you very much,” Letterman continued.
“What this means now,” he quipped, “is that Paul (Shaffer, longtime Letterman bandleader) and I can be married.”
“We don't have the 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,” he told the audience in the Ed Sullivan Theater.
Letterman has hosted “The Late Show” on CBS since 1993, prior to which he hosted NBC's “Late Night” from 1982 to 1992.
Letterman turns 67 next week. He has the longest tenure of any late-night talk show host in U.S. television history, nearing 32 years since he created “Late Night” at NBC in 1982. He hosted that show through 1992, and in 1993 created CBS' “The Late Show,” which he has hosted ever since.
Both shows have been nominated for a total of 108 Emmy Awards, winning eight. Letterman received Kennedy Center honors in 2012.
Jay Leno, his rival to host NBC's “Tonight Show,” retired earlier this year, making way for Jimmy Fallon.