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Black Buying Power:
  $744 Billion (2006)

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Orpah Winfrey to sign off from her talk show in 2011 after 25 years

By Gary Levin

(November 19, 2009) Oprah Winfrey finally appears ready to call it quits.
The queen of daytime talk is set to announce Friday that she's ending her show on Sept. 9, 2011, when her current contract expires, capping a 25-year career on national TV.

Late Thursday, Winfrey's company, Harpo Productions, shared the news with TV stations that carry her show, thanking them for "the partnership and friendship we have shared over the years," and informing them she would address the end of her run on Friday's show.

Winfrey herself told CBS, which distributes The Oprah Winfrey Show, that she was ending her run in syndication. But she is unlikely to move the talk show to OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, a new cable channel planned for next year in a joint venture with Discovery Networks.

"It's a void, and if I was working at one of the local stations, I'd be very concerned about a replacement," says David Scardino at Los Angeles ad firm RPA. "I think it will have a fairly large impact."

Winfrey has vowed to end her show twice before. But there's no reason to doubt her now: Last week, she moved co-executive producer Lisa Erspamer to Los Angeles as chief creative officer of OWN, a signal that Winfrey would play a more direct role. She will appear in several lifestyle shows being developed for OWN.

Winfrey began her TV career as host of AM Chicago in 1984. Two years later, it was renamed The Oprah Winfrey Show and aired nationally.

It remains the top-rated daytime talk show, averaging 7.2 million viewers so far this season. Like other talk shows, it is down from its peak. But Winfrey has spread her influence throughout daytime, spinning off shows starring frequent guests Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz and decorator Nate Berkus, whose series is planned for fall.

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