Stephen Colbert to take reins from Letterman

22:12, Apr 10 2014
NEW HOST: Stephen Colbert will take over from David Letterman next year.
NEW HOST: Stephen Colbert will take over from David Letterman next year.

Stephen Colbert is replacing David Letterman as CBS' late night host.

The network announced that "The Colbert Report" host will replace Letterman when he retires next year. Colbert is signed for five years.

Letterman has hosted "Late Show With David Letterman" since 1993. He turns 67 on Saturday.

"I never dreamed that I would follow in his footsteps, though everyone in late night follows Dave's lead," Colbert said in a statement.

Comedy Central's Emmy-winning "The Colbert Report" has been a hit since its launch in 2005.

Last week, Letterman announced his plans to exit his show and end an unmatched wee-hours run that began in 1982 when he launched "Late Night" on NBC.

He jumped to CBS when Jay Leno, not he, won NBC's "The Tonight Show" upon Johnny Carson's retirement. Leno stepped down from "Tonight" in February, replaced by Jimmy Fallon.

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DAVID LETTERMAN: Announced plans to retire next year.
DAVID LETTERMAN: Announced plans to retire next year.

AP