CBS Broadcast Group president Howard Stringer has signed a new 4 1/2-year contract with the network, according to a report in the upcoming issue of People magazine that was confirmed by CBS.

Stringer, who has been in the job since 1988, has overseen the network’s move from third to first and landed the services of David Letterman.

The 4 1/2-year term isn’t unusual in the network field, although it’s likely an extension of a current contract.

Speaking about landing Letterman, Stringer said he constantly “exuded a sense that we (CBS) were comfortable, confident and cheerful.”

Indeed, when he started courting Letterman, Stringer sent the comedian/host a Civil War-era photo of Dr. Jonathan Letterman, a surly-looking battlefield surgeon, along with a note that read: “This has got to be a relative. He looks too miserable not to be.”

Moreover, while CBS was waiting to see if NBC would match its offer for Letterman, Stringer sent a Steuben eagle, with a note that read: “If the eagle hasn’t landed, at least it’s in flight.”