David Letterman has announced that he is retiring next year.
The beloved host of the “Late Show with David Letterman” announced during the taping of his show today that he will step down from the role in 2015.
He shared the news with the audience at the taping of his show on Thursday afternoon, which will air tonight.
CBS is expected to make an announcement.
Mike Mills, the bassist for R.E.M. and the musical guest on Thursday, shared the news on Twitter, writing, “Dave just announced his retirement #2015 #muchlovedave.”
Letterman, 66, has been at the helm of the CBS show for 20 years, before which he hosted NBC’s Late Night for 11 years.
He is the longest-running late night host, surpassing his mentor, Johnny Carson.
David Letterman renewed his two-year contract last year on the Late Show and it was expected to be his last.
Letterman said his first call was to CBS chief, Les Moonves.
The late night host revealed, “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'”.
David continues, “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 the people on the staff, everybody at home, thank you very much. What this means now, is that Paul and I can be married.”
Letterman added, “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”.
The audience in the Ed Sullivan Theater gave David a standing ovation.
David spoke with Oprah Winfrey in January 2013 on when he planned to retire.
Letterman’s long-time rival Jay Leno retired from “The Tonight Show” earlier this year, making way for Jimmy Fallon.
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