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Trevor Noah’s Moment of Zen

trevor noah
It wasn’t a secret that Noah struggled to balance his other endeavors with shooting a talk show in New York four nights a week. Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Matthew Belloni
October 2, 2022

Trevor Noah surprised Paramount Global C.E.O. Bob Bakish, Noah’s key producers, his staff, and even some of his own representatives by announcing his exit from The Daily Show at the end of Thursday’s taping. What’s more surprising, I learned this weekend, is that Noah actually had lunch with Chris McCarthy, president and C.E.O. of MTV Entertainment Group—who, with oversight of Comedy Central, is Noah’s boss—the day before the announcement, and Noah didn’t even suggest he might be quitting.

That’s one way to avoid leaks, I guess, though it certainly left Paramount executives scrambling to articulate what happened to their network’s marquee late-night star, on its flagship franchise that, while declining in linear ratings, still generates millions in high-C.P.M. ad revenue, does well on Paramount+, and is huge on social. It’s a big loss.