The host announced during the taping of Thursday’s show that he will step down from CBS’ Late Show With David Letterman in 2015. The former R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills, who performed on the show along with singer Joseph Arthur, was first to tweet the news; Brian Stelter of CNN later confirmed it:
It’s true. David Letterman just announced he is retiring in 2015. More soon.
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) April 3, 2014
The 66-year-old Letterman has hosted the series on CBS since 1993, after hosting Late Night on NBC starting in 1982. His contract expires next year.
This kicks off lots of speculation as to who will succeed Letterman as host of the show, which remains the lone 11:35 network show not hosted by someone named “Jimmy.” Will it be Craig Ferguson? Jon Stewart? Stephen Colbert? Chelsea Handler? Louis CK?
Maybe Dave and the also-unemployed Jay Leno can form some sort of duo.
The other question is whether the show will stay in New York. With both NBC late-night shows broadcast from 30 Rock, might CBS move its late night franchise to Hollywood?