Letterman announces retirement plans for 2015

David Letterman announced his plans to retire in 2015 Thursday.
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Late night talk show host David Letterman is ready to retire.

During a taping of Thursday's show, Letterman said he has informed his CBS bosses that he will step down in 2015, when his current contract expires.

"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," Letterman told his audience at New York's Ed Sullivan Theater. "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.'"

Watch Letterman's announcement

He told his audience he expects his departure will be "at least a year or so" from now.

"We don't have the timetable for this precisely down," Letterman said. "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."

Mike Mills, a former bassist for R.E.M. who performed on the show Thursday night, tweeted the announcement Thursday afternoon.

"Dave just announced his retirement #2015 #muchlovedave," Mills wrote.

Letterman has hosted the show on CBS for 21 years after hosting "Late Night" on NBC for 11 years. The 32-year career makes him the longest-serving late-night talk show host in TV history.

He grew up in Broad Ripple, attended Ball State University and worked as a weatherman at WTHR (then WLWI) before emerging on the national scene. He will turn 67 years old on April 12.

He has also been active as a team owner on the IndyCar Series, winning the 2004 Indianapolis 500 as part of Rahal Letterman Racing when his driver Buddy Rice captured the rain-shortened race. He is currently part owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.

(The Associated Press and The TODAY Show contributed to this story.)