He joked in a statement later issued by the network, "CBS and I are not getting divorced, we are 'consciously uncoupling . . . '"
Ferguson's decision comes less than a month after David Letterman announced his intention to retire next year, and about two weeks after CBS chose Stephen Colbert to replace him. But Ferguson, whose show airs at 12:35 a.m., said the fact that he didn't get Letterman's timeslot is not why he's leaving, telling Variety that he'd already decided to exit before Letterman surprised everyone with his plans.
He said, in fact, that he'd planned to leave during the summer, but CBS asked him to stay until December to give them more time to decide on a replacement. Ferguson said he's ready to move on to new things, explaining, "It wasn't contentious. I was just like, 'I feel like I’m done.'"
He also understands that people might not believe that, saying, "It's an inevitable thing when David announced his retirement, people are going to say 'Oh he's leaving because of that.' No matter what I say or what I do, they’re gonna say that. Well they can say what they like. It’s America. I understand."