Oprah Winfrey announces end of show
With a quiet moment, perhaps throughout the world, Oprah Winfrey announced Friday the end of her show, The Oprah Winfrey Show. The show is currently in its 24th season. Winfrey plans to end the show after its 25th season.
Winfrey stated Friday, “I love this show. This show has been my life. I love it enough to know when it’s time to say goodbye. Twenty-five years feels right in my spirit. It’s the perfect number---the exact right time.” Winfrey stated that the decision was not easy and it was only after much prayer that she decided it was the right time. After the 25th season, in 2011, the show will end.
The top-ranked talk show for more than twenty years has aired in more than 145 countries worldwide with an estimated 42 million viewers per week in the United States alone. A Harpo spokeswoman declined to speak about Oprah’s future plans. However, it was made known that the show will not be transferred to cable television. There is a hint that Oprah Winfrey will begin a new talk show on OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network. This is a much delayed joint venture with Discovery Communications, Inc that is expected to debut in 2011. OWN is expected to replace Discovery Health Channel and will debut in over 74 million homes across America.
CBS Television Distribution was hoping that it could still continue to work with Winfrey. A unit for the CBS Corporation stated, “We have the greatest respect for Oprah and wish her 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 afterward as well.”
Winfrey began her career as a teenager in Nashville, Tennessee reading news for WVOL. As she progressed from that to co-anchoring news broadcasts on WTVF-TV and onto anchor at WJZ-TV, she landed a spot as the host of People Are Talking in Baltimore. She then moved to Chicago and landed a spot as host on the WLS-TV’s A.M. Chicago. This turned out to be a huge opportunity for Winfrey as it became The Oprah Winfrey Show only a year later. That was 24 years ago!
Winfrey did not stop there, though. She went on to build a wide reaching empire. With Harpo Studios, shows that are hosted by Dr. Phil McGraw and celebrity chef Rachael Ray are now successes in their own right. Her book club selections result in instant best-sellers. Don’t forget O, The Oprah Magazine. In 1998, Winfrey wrote in her book Journey to Beloved, “I came from nothing. No power. No money. Not even my thoughts were my own. I had no free will. No voice. Now I have freedom, power, and will to speak to millions every day, having come from nowhere.” Indeed, the power of one can touch millions.