Only hours after the world discovered that David Letterman will retire from his perch at CBS' Late Show, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti fired off a letter to the network's chief, Les Moonves, asking him to relocate the New York-based program to L.A. when it relaunches under a new host.
It would be consolation for NBC's delivery of the Tonight Show to New York following the end of its 42-year run in Burbank after Jay Leno retired earlier this year.
As a longtime fan, I was saddened to hear of David Letterman's retirement. But as Mayor of Los Angeles, I am excited for the opportunity to encourage you to bring CBS' next late night show to our city – the entertainment capital of the world.
I have made the entertainment industry a key priority for my administration. It's a critical component to our city's economy and identity. I created the Mayor's Office of Motion Picture and Television Production, and under the leadership of Ken Ziffren, we are aggressively seeking to encourage more production here in Los Angeles by cutting red tape, lending proactive assistance, and by furthering public policy to compete with the financial incentives offered by other states.
I look forward to speaking with you about the possibility of bringing the successor to Mr. Letterman's show to Los Angeles.
L.A. has been in a battle with New York and states that have been offering tax incentives to attract Hollywood film and TV projects, and Garcetti has vowed to do his best to slow so-called runaway production.
Although the Tonight Show started in New York, its departure was seen as a symbolic blow for efforts to keep well-paying entertainment industry jobs in L.A.
Legislation is being considered in the state capital that would increase tax incentives for production that stays in California. Academics have long doubted the impact of tax giveaways on the migration of Hollywood jobs, though.
Last night Letterman told his New York audience that he was 34 when he started his late-night television career and that he'll turn 67 next weekend. He said he had done 4014 shows at CBS.
“I spent half my time behind this desk,” he said. “More importantly, that I means I spent half my life in makeup.”
He said that he had phoned Les Moonves earlier in the day and told him, “I'm retiring.”
Letterman said that he and longtime Late Show bandleader Paul Shaffer would bow sometime next year.