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Trevor Noah to leave “Daily Show” after seven years

Comedy Central says the show will continue, but has not named a successor.

Comedy Central says the show will continue, but has not named a successor.

Comedian Trevor Noah will leave Comedy Central’s satire news program “The Daily Show” after spending seven years as its host.

Noah made the announcement during a taping of the program on Thursday, according to people who were in attendance.

“My time is up,” Noah told the audience. “But in the most beautiful way, honestly. I’ve loved hosting the show. It’s been one of my greatest challenges, it’s been one of my greatest joys.”

During his statement, Noah publicly praised Comedy Central’s parent company Paramount Global and its chief executive, Robert Bakish, for supporting him during his tenure as host. In a statement, a Paramount Global spokesperson offered similar sentiments.

“We are grateful to Trevor for our amazing partnership over the past seven years. With no timetable for his departure, we’re working together on next steps,” the spokesperson said. “As we look ahead, we’re excited for the next chapter in the 25-plus year history of The Daily Show as it continues to redefine culture through sharp and hilarious social commentary, helping audiences make sense of the world around them.”

Noah was tapped to lead the program following the departure of its long-time host Jon Stewart, who stepped away from the show in 2015. For the first year, the show suffered from a ratings slump as Noah and his staff re-tooled the program in a way that they hoped would attract younger viewers across a wide variety of media platforms.

The ratings began to see a rebound in 2017 after then-President Donald Trump took office. The Trump administration provided Noah with plenty of political fodder for his satire news program, and his show continued to enjoy a devout — albeit smaller — following during his seven years as host.

Noah’s departure comes as the late-night television landscape has changed in recent years, due in large part to a shift in strategy by broadcasters and cable networks to put more programming on their streaming services. Three of the four main broadcast networks — ABC, CBS and NBC — offer their late-night shows through their own streaming services, with clips regularly posted to YouTube and Facebook.

The explosion of streaming services means greater competition for the attention of comedy-hungry fans. Some, like Comcast and Paramount Global, have tried to reach these viewers by launching streaming-exclusive late night programs: Comcast currently offers “The Amber Ruffin Show” to subscribers of its Peacock service, while Paramount Global distributes “Tooning Out the News,” an animated comedy news program produced by its late-night talk show host Stephen Colbert.

Other late night shows have simply gone away in the era of streaming. Earlier this year, executives at Warner Bros Discovery announced the cancellation of “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee,” a weekly topical comedy show hosted by the former Daily Show correspondent. The program was aired on TBS, which also offered the nightly talk show “Conan” until last year.

Paramount Global — and Comedy Central in particular — has struggled more than others to reach late night audiences. The channel has shuffled through a number of topical late night shows over the last few years, including “At Midnight with Chris Hardwick,” “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore,” “Lights Out with David Spade,” “The Opposition with Jordan Klepper” and “Not Safe with Nikki Glaser.”

It was not immediately clear when Noah intends to leave the show. Paramount Global has not named a successor host for the program.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 11 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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