David Letterman announces he's retiring in 2015

It's the end of an era: David Letterman announced Thursday that he's retiring from CBS' "Late Show" next year when his contract runs out.

He made that announcement during the taping of his program this afternoon.

“The man who owns this network, Leslie Moonves, 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,’” said Letterman.

“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.”

“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,” he added, to a standing ovation from the audience in the Ed Sullivan Theat

The late-night talk show host, who will celebrate his 67th birthday next week, made his debut on the "Late Show" on Aug. 30, 1993.

Letterman got his television start in 1978 on the CBS variety series "Mary," starring Mary Tyler Moore. Months later, he paid his first visit to "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" -- marking the first of 22 appearances. He also guest-hosted "Tonight" numerous times.

In 1980, Letterman started hosting the Emmy Award-winning morning comedy-variety program, "The David Letterman Show," which ran for three months on NBC. He followed that up with "Late Night with David Letterman," which premiered in February 1982 and ran for 11 years.

In 2011, Letterman received the Johnny Carson Award for Comedic Excellence at Comedy Central's first annual The Comedy Awards. Letterman has also won two American Comedy Awards as funniest male performer in a television series. He honored as "Favorite Late Night Talk Show Host" at the 31st annual People's Choice Awards in 2005.

Letterman was on of the 2012 recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors, where he was called "one of the most influential personalities in the history of television, entertaining an entire generation of late-night viewers with his unconventional wit and charm."

Over the past few months, there's been a number of shake-ups in the late-night world, with Jimmy Fallon taking over for Jay Leno on the "Tonight Show" and Seth Meyers slipping into the "Late Night" slot on NBC. So, it's not surprising to see a bit of change in the landscape at CBS.

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