Oprah Winfrey has announced that she will end her long-running, hugely popular daytime talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2011 so that she can launch her very own cable network … sending pretty much everyone into a crazy tizzy:
The media mogul Oprah Winfrey will end her daytime talk show, “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” in 2011 as she prepares to start a cable channel of her own. A spokeswoman for Ms. Winfrey’s production company, Harpo, confirmed Thursday evening that Ms. Winfrey would make an announcement on her show on Friday. The plans were first reported by WABC, the ABC station in New York City. “The sun will set on the Oprah show as its 25th season draws to a close on Sept. 9, 2011,” Tim Bennett, the president of Harpo, said in a message to affiliates. After her broadcast talk show winds down, Ms. Winfrey will concentrate on her coming cable channel, OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network. OWN will have its premiere in January 2011, according to a person with knowledge of Ms. Winfrey’s decision who insisted on anonymity. Ms. Winfrey, 55, informed her talk show staff of her decision on Thursday afternoon. The television world had expected that she would make a decision about the fate of her program by the end of the year. Ms. Winfrey told her staffers that she will not transfer the show to cable. She is expected to produce new programs for OWN, and may appear on some of them. In a statement, CBS Television Distribution said, “We have the greatest respect for Oprah and wish her nothing but the best in her future endeavors. We know that anything she turns her hand to will be a great success. We look forward to working with her for the next several years, and hopefully afterwards as well.” OWN is a joint venture between her production company and Discovery Communications. Getting the channel off the ground has proved challenging amid management turnover and an uncertain advertising climate. The timeline for OWN will theoretically give Ms. Winfrey about nine months to promote her cable channel on her existing show. Sometimes called the Queen of Talk, Forbes estimates Ms. Winfrey’s net worth to be $2.7 billion. “The Oprah Winfrey Show” is the most successful talk show in syndication, reaching about seven million viewers a day. It has been vital to the success of ABC, whose local station group has been the primary home of the show since it started in syndication in 1986.
Wow!! Rumors of this move have been swirling for a couple of weeks now so this announcement isn’t really a surprise. What is a surprise is that Oprah will not move her wildly popular talk show to her new OWN network … but, to be honest, Oprah has really conquered the world of daytime talk shows and will go out just as popular as she’s ever been. This is but another step forward in Oprah’s quest for world domination … methinks she will do just fine with this new venture. But still … wow … no more Oprah Winfrey Show. Whatever will Oprah fans do with themselves once the show goes off the air?