Dave Makes The Deal... ...Jay Stays Put

A show-biz cliffhanger ends as Letterman jumps to CBS to do battle with Leno for the late-night ratings crown

A PHALANX OF CAMERAS COVered the back wall. Gray-suited CBS executives lined the side aisles. Reporters crowded into the room as if the Iran-contra hearings were on. But for David Letterman, the press conference at CBS's New York City headquarters to announce that he was jumping from NBC to CBS was just another late-night monologue.

"I never dated Amy Fisher," he deadpanned at the outset. "I fixed her car. I helped her with her homework. I never laid a hand on Amy Fisher." He praised his old network, NBC, for behaving "honorably and as gentlemen," then remarked, "What I will miss...

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