Late-night fixture David Letterman has revealed that he is retiring. The veteran of 32 years in late-night — including 21 years on CBS's "Late Show with David Letterman" — will retire next year, according to media reports.
"Letterman began informing people of the news today starting with CBS Chairman Leslie Moonves," Deadline.com reports. "Executives at David Letterman’s Worldwide Pants, which produces 'Late Show with David Letterman,' declined comment."
After news of Letterman's retirement broke, CBS released the following statement from Moonves:
“When Dave decided on a one-year extension for his most recent contract, we knew this day was getting closer, but that doesn’t make the moment any less poignant for us. For 21 years, David Letterman has graced our network’s air in late-night with wit, gravitas and brilliance unique in the history of our medium. During that time, Dave has given television audiences thousands of hours of comedic entertainment, the sharpest interviews in late-night, and brilliant moments of candor and perspective around national events. He’s also managed to keep many celebrities, politicians and executives on their toes — including me. There is only one David Letterman. His greatness will always be remembered here, and he will certainly sit among the pantheon of this business. On a personal note, it’s been a privilege to get to know Dave and to enjoy a terrific relationship. It’s going to be tough to say goodbye. Fortunately, we won’t have to do that for another year or so. Until then, we look forward to celebrating Dave’s remarkable show and incredible talents.”
Letterman started in late-night in 1982 on NBC's "Late Night with David Letterman." He remained on the job until 1993, when he jumped to CBS after losing a high-profile battle with Jay Leno over the "Tonight Show" job.
Last year he became the longest-serving late-night talk show host in television history when he surpassed Johnny Carson's 31 years.