Morning Media Newsfeed: Letterman to Retire | Mozilla’s Eich Resigns | Fusion’s TV First

[emailonly]{{{ sbox300x250 }}}[/emailonly] Click here to receive Mediabistro’s Morning Media Newsfeed via email.

David Letterman to Leave Late Show (TVNewser)
During the taping of Thursday’s Late Show, David Letterman announced next year will be his last on the show he’s hosted for more than two decades. The news was first reported on Twitter by R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills, a guest on the show, just after 4 p.m. ET. Letterman, who turns 67 next week, signed a contract extension in October. Adweek The duration of the new deal seemed a sure sign that the clock was ticking on Letterman’s late night tenure. Two years prior to signing the extension, the host had agreed to a two-year deal. NYT Letterman said he had informed CBS president Leslie Moonves of his intention to step down from The Late Show at the end of his current contract, which has about 16 months left. A specific end date has not yet been set. Letterman is considered by many to be the most original voice in the late-night format, and Moonves has been steadfast in his assurances in recent years that he would never ask Letterman to retire, saying at one point, “You don’t do that to a television legend.” Mashable Letterman hosted Late Night on NBC from 1982 to 1993 before starting Late Show on CBS in 1993. In 2013, he surpassed Johnny Carson as the longest-running late night talk show host in television history. He has been part of more than 6,000 late-night broadcasts. USA Today It’s unclear how CBS will replace Letterman, and when, precisely. Craig Ferguson, who hosts the Letterman-produced Late Late Show, is not being considered as a replacement, insiders say, even though his contract technically promises it. Moonves is known to have been interested in The Daily Show‘s Jon Stewart over the years, but in the past Stewart has said he is not interested in a network talk show. Stewart’s Comedy Central partner Stephen Colbert is seen as a more likely candidate, and is available sooner: His contract with Comedy Central expires in December, though Stewart is free in 2015. Chelsea Handler also announced plans to leave her late-night E! show this year.

Mozilla Co-Founder Brendan Eich Resigns as CEO, Leaves Foundation Board (Re/code)
Brendan Eich, the well-known techie who has gotten swept up in a controversy about his support of California’s anti-gay marriage law Proposition 8, is resigning as CEO of for-profit Mozilla Corporation and also from the board of the nonprofit foundation which wholly owns it. NYT / Bits Once Eich’s support for Proposition 8 became public, the reaction was swift, with a level of disapproval that the company feared was becoming a threat to its reputation and business. For example, OkCupid, a popular online dating service, set up a letter, visible to those visiting its site on Firefox, that castigated the chief executive. “Mozilla’s new CEO, Brendan Eich, is an opponent of equal rights for gay couples,” the letter said. “We would therefore prefer that our users not use Mozilla software to access OkCupid.” The letter, which has since been removed, concluded that “those who seek to deny love and instead enforce misery, shame and frustration are our enemies, and we wish them nothing but failure.”

Fusion Names Author Ryan Nerz TV’s First Chief Cannabis Correspondent (Fusion)
Fusion has named acclaimed author and journalist Ryan Nerz as the first ever network chief cannabis correspondent. Nerz will contribute regularly to Fusion’s digital and TV platforms, exploring answers to the biggest questions surrounding cannabis culture and the booming industry evolving around it. FishbowlNY The Yale-educated, Brooklyn-based contributor to NPR, Esquire, The History Channel and other outlets is also the author of last year’s Marijuanamerica. Under the new arrangement, Nerz will be expanding his Fusion TV segments The Cannabusiness Report into a series of longer half-hours. TVNewser Nerz’s hire comes a few months after the legalization of recreational marijuana in two states: Colorado and Washington. Nine other states allow medical marijuana use and decriminalize recreational use. In November, The Denver Post named entertainment reporter Ricardo Baca to the marijuana beat. The coverage of cannabis has also been a boon to networks like CNBC, which have generated strong ratings for documentaries on the subject. THR Over the past several months, Nerz developed the Cannabusiness series through various segments on Fusion’s then-morning show Fusion Live, which currently airs in primetime. “Marijuana legalization is an issue that is taking on increasing relevance — politically, economically and culturally — and requires the kind of coverage that only someone with Ryan’s expertise can deliver,” said Fusion CEO Isaac Lee.