David Letterman was still at NBC when Bill Carter began covering television for the New York Times.

On Monday, Carter disclosed that he will be leaving the Times after 25 years now that he has accepted one of the employee buyouts that the newspaper is offering in an effort to eliminate 100 staff positions. The deadline for employees voluntarily agreeing to buyout deals is today.

Carter told the Huffington Post that making the decision to leave the Times was a “wrenching and agonizing process.” He said the buyout offer was too valuable to turn down.

The buyout offers are said to include three weeks of salary for every year worked, for union employees, and another 35% payout of the total severance package for employees who have been with the paper for 20 years or more. Carter joined the Times in 1989 after 14 years as a critic at the Baltimore Sun.

The longevity and his perch at the Times has made Carter one of the most influential bylines among reporters covering the television beat. He’s also the author of several books on the industry, notably 1994’s “The Late Shift,” about the battle for “The Tonight Show” throne at NBC in 1992, which was adapted as an HBO telepic.

Carter told the Huffington Post he was working on a new book about latenight and also looking for a new job.