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David Letterman says he will retire

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David Letterman on the set of "Late Show with David Letterman" in July 2013. (AP photo/CBS, John Paul Filo) David Letterman on the set of "Late Show with David Letterman" in July 2013. (AP photo/CBS, John Paul Filo)
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

David Letterman plans to retire from his show next year, he told the studio audience at the taping of "Late Show with David Letterman" on Thursday.

"We don't have the timing of this precisely down, it'll be I think at least a year or so," Letterman told the audience. "But sometime in the not too distant future -- 2015, for the love of God -- in fact, Paul (Schaefer) and I will be wrapping things up and taking a hike."

Letterman said he informed CBS chairman Les Moonves of his decision.

"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," Moonves said in a statement. "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."

Letterman will have spent about 22 years as host of "Late Show" on CBS after 11 years as host of "Late Night with David Letterman" on NBC, making him the longest-running late night talk-show host in TV history.

Letterman's current contract expires in 2015.

"There is only one David Letterman," Moonves said. "His greatness will always be remembered here, and he will certainly sit among the pantheon of this business."


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