LOS ANGELES — Comedy Central has a "short list" of replacements for "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart when he steps down this year, company executive Doug Herzog said Wednesday.
The channel and Stewart are consulting on when he'll depart the job he's held for more than 16 years and discussing whether he'll have a continued role with the show, said Herzog, president of Viacom Entertainment Group.
"TBD," he replied, using the shorthand for "to be determined," then added: "It's not out of the question."
Stewart is an executive producer on the show as well as host. Stewart's company, Busboy Productions, produces "The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore," which replaced "The Colbert Report."
Herzog said "there's a short list" but wouldn't discuss any specific people being considered as host. It's uncertain whether the list includes former "Daily Show" correspondent John Oliver, who moved over to HBO after successfully filling in for Stewart when he took a movie-making break.
Asked about whether Oliver is a candidate, Herzog's reply was succinct.
"John Oliver's got a job," he said.
Asked if that meant he was not under consideration, Herzog said: "I think he's spoken for."
Whoever is chosen has heavy lifting to do.
"It's not easy. The shadow of Jon Stewart is going to loom large. ... What you have to get comfortable with is, it's just not going to be Jon Stewart. And it's going to be different," Herzog said.
Whatever happens, he said, "The Daily Show" is "a format that's built to last, and last it will."
Herzog declined to comment on when Stewart, whose contract is up this fall, told Comedy Central of his decision to leave.