David Letterman Surprises CBS and Announces His Retirement (The Daily Beast)
David Letterman is retiring next year from his late-night show on CBS—ending more than three decades on two networks as a television comic and talk show host.
“We don’t have the timetable for this precisely down,” the 66-year-old Letterman told his studio audience in a surprise announcement during the Thursday afternoon taping of the Late Show With David Letterman. “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 added, referring to his longtime bandleader Paul Shaffer.
The audience in the Ed Sullivan Theater in the Broadway theater district rose from their seats and erupted in a sustained standing ovation.
CBS, which lured Letterman in 1993 from NBC, where he had hosted a popular program at 12:30 a.m. since 1982, was taken by surprise by the timing of the announcement. Letterman revealed that he phoned CBS chief executive Leslie Moonves just before walking out on stage.