Tuesday, July 23, 2024

David Letterman on Leaving CBS: Declined to Hear Offers from “60 Minutes” and CBS Radio


Back in 2013, CBS announced that David Letterman’s contract had been extended for two years.

But in the book “Powerhouse” by James Andrew Miller, Letterman says of his decision to retire:

The last contract was for only a year. I was frightened then that I might not even be able to make it through the year. Everything had stopped being what it was and I didn’t want to be the last old guy in late night. And this had been an ongoing conversation. Every time I saw Les, I would say, “You know, Les,” I said, “I’m ready to go any time you need me to go.” And he said, “Everything’s fine. Don’t worry about it. Everything’s fine.” And then when Jay retired, I just thought, Oh, yeah. I’m going to be the last old guy. So that was as meaningful to me as anything else. I just thought, I can’t be the old guy trying to keep up with the kids on late night.

Lee Gabler, Letterman’s agent at CAA, says in the book that “60 Minutes” was interested in Letterman. (He doesn’t say it, but you could see Dave as the Andy Rooney.)

When the Late Show ended, I sat down with Dave and said, “What do you want to do?” And he said, “I don’t know,” and I said, “Well, why don’t we sit down with CBS and come up with a post-term deal?” And 60 Minutes was interested in making a deal with him. Sunday Morning was interested in making a deal. CBS Radio wanted to make a deal. There was conversation about a lecture tour in some kind of a format that he would feel comfortable with, but it turned out he really didn’t want to do anything at that point.

Instead, Dave grew a beard.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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