Unlike Jay Leno, late-nighter David Letterman wants to work a little while longer.
Letterman wants to stick with the CBS "Late Show" through his contract, and maybe longer, even as Leno prepares to surrender the "Tonight" reins to Conan O'Brien next year.
He tells Rolling Stone magazine he'd like to go beyond 2010, but not much beyond. In his words: "You always like to be able to excuse yourself on your own terms."
Letterman says he's puzzled by NBC's plan to remove Leno, who consistently tops the late-night ratings. The "Late Show" host says he has to believe Leno "was not happy about it."
Letterman also speculates that NBC might reconsider, but also realizes they may be too far down the road to do that.