‘The Daily Show’ host Jon Stewart to leave the show later this year

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney – Feb. 10, 2014) — Jon Stewart, whose wit defined “The Daily Show” for more than 15 years, will sign off the iconic Comedy Central program later this year, the cable channel said on Tuesday.

Stewart is expected to speak about his decision to step down on Tuesday night’s program, which he is taping on Tuesday evening.

Michelle Ganeless, the president of the channel, called Stewart “a comic genius, generous with his time and talent,” and said the host “will always be a part of the Comedy Central family.”

Stewart’s announcement comes two months after his longtime late-night companion on the channel, Stephen Colbert, ended the “Colbert Report.” Colbert will take over CBS’s “The Late Show” this fall.

Colbert’s successor Larry Wilmore started a new program, “The Nightly Show,” that now follows “The Daily Show.”

When Stewart signed his most recent contract, it came as a surprise to some observers, given his long tenure at the program and his publicly expressed interest in trying other things. He recently directed his first feature film.

In a series of interviews to promote his film, “Rosewater,” in November, Stewart acknowledged that he had been contemplating his future.

When a New York magazine reporter asked whether the 2016 presidential election might motivate Stewart to stay at “The Daily Show,” Stewart said yes.

But he added, “Part of the thing to remember is this is not the only process by which you can work material, and sometimes it’s more important to step back and reconfigure a conversation than continue the same conversation because you know how to do it.”

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