(WTVR/CNN) – Comedy Central star Stephen Colbert will replace David Letterman as the host of “The Late Show.”
“Stephen Colbert is one of the most inventive and respected forces on television,” CBS President and CEO Les Moonves said. “David Letterman’s legacy and accomplishments are an incredible source of pride for all of us here, and today’s announcement speaks to our commitment of upholding what he established for CBS in late night.”
Colbert said being a guest on Letterman’s show was a highlight of his career.
“I never dreamed that I would follow in his footsteps, though everyone in late night follows Dave’s lead,” Colbert said.
Earlier this month Letterman announced his plans to retire during a taping of “The Late Show.” He said he had discussed the possibility of his retirement with 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,” Letterman said. “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.’”
Letterman didn’t specify an exact end date for his tenure on “The Late Show.”
“I think it will be at least a year or so, but sometime in the not too distant future,” he said.
Last fall, Letterman extended his contract through 2015; news reports at the time said he gave no indication that it would be his last contract.
Letterman, who turned 67 this week, has hosted “The Late Show” since 1993. The show has been nominated for 72 Emmy Awards and has won nine.
This is a developing story.