Published On: Apr 06 2012 01:42:24 PM EDTUpdated On: May 21 2015 10:40:51 AM EDT
David Letterman began "The Late Show" on CBS in 1993 after an 11-year run on NBC’s "Late Night" program, which he created. His 33 years in late night television (counting 2015) eclipses Carson's storied, 30-year late night tenure. Letterman's last "Late Show" aired Wednesday night.
Take a look at more high-profile personalities and their exits from particular shows or TV altogether.
Jon Stewart announced he would be leaving the "Daily Show" after 16 years on Feb. 10. Stewart's last show will be on Aug. 6.
In January, Ann Curry announced she was leaving NBC as a full-time employee to begin a new relationship withNBCUniversalthat allows her to report on any platform and on any network, including NBC News. She also is developing a media start-up, seeded by NBCUniversal, to provide reporting and content to be distributed over multiple platforms.
Stephen Colbert bid farewell on his final episode of "The Colbert Report" in December 2014 after a nine-year run. Everyone from National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins to New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker to former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee --- and even former President Bill Clinton, tweeting --- appeared during the 23-minute finale, all singing "We'll Meet Again." Colbert will be taking over for David Letterman once he retires next year.
Diane Sawyer officially stepped down as anchor of ABC's "World News" in August 2014, but will focus on primetime specials and big interviews for the network.
Craig Ferguson left "The Late Late Show" in December 2014 after nearly a decade on the air. He took over for Craig Kilborn in January 2005.
Following a week-long celebration of her career, May 16, 2014 marked Barbara Walters' final episode of "The View." While Walters will remain under contract to ABC for some time and will continue to pursue big-ticket interviews, she will no longer appear on the show she helped create more than 18 years ago.
In May 2011, the last episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" aired. In the 25 years since the show has been nationally syndicated, Oprah has made herself a singular force in television and popular culture.
Glenn Beck left his his Fox News Channel talk show in 2011 after a short burst of success with the network. Almost immediately after joining in January 2009, he doubled the ratings at his afternoon time slot. Near the end, his ratings sunk and he suffered from several advertiser boycotts.
After more than 28 years of hosting the syndicated television morning talk show most recently called "Live! With Regis & Kelly," Regis Philbin finally stepped down in November 2011.
Journalist Dan Rather departed CBS in June 2006, ending a 44-year career with the network. He was the news anchor for "CBS Evening News" for 24 years before losing his job in March 9, 2005 amid controversy over story on story about President Bush's Vietnam-era service in the National Guard. He is now managing editor and anchor of the television news magazine "Dan Rather Reports" on the cable channel HDNet.
In December, 2010, TV personality Larry King ended his "Larry King Live" show on CNN after 25 years of hosting. King remains in Guinness Book of World Records for having the longest running show with the same host in the same time slot.
Host Conan O'Brien left his own "Late Night" show, which ran for 16 years, to host "The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien" in 2009. The show only lasted for eight months before he was let go. In November 2010, O'Brien launched "Conan" on TBS.
Rosie O'Donnell's show on Oprah's OWN network, “The Rosie Show,” was cancelled in March 2012 after five months on the air. The show premiered to about 500,000 viewers but lost about half that audience within days of its debut.
Sportscaster Albert became the focus of a media frenzy in 1997, when he went on trial for felony charges of forcible sodomy. Albert had worked for NBC for 20 years before being fired over the incident. The network eventually rehired him two years later.
Entertainment journalist Mary Hart departed "Entertainment Tonight" in May 2011 after nearly 30 years of celebrity reporting. She expressed gratitude for her career but stated that she needed to make a change.
Radio personality and TV host Howard Stern hosted his own nationally syndicated radio show from 1986 to 2005. The "shock jock" left the show after controversy surrounding a Super Bowl halftime show, which raised censorship issues. He has been with Sirius satellite radio since January 2006 and also has served as a judge on "America's Got Talent."
Former "The Price Is Right" host Bob Barker retired from the long-running show in June of 2007. He hung up his microphone after 35 years as the host of show and 50 years overall in television.
Jay Leno left "The Tonight Show" on Feb. 6, 2014, after 22 years. He also left in 2009, only to return a year later. This time, it's Jimmy Fallon who's taking over.
Legendary TV host Johnny Carson retired from hosting "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" in 1992, after 30 years. During that time, Carson received six Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and he received Kennedy Center Honors in 1993.