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Orpah Winfrey to
sign off from her talk show in 2011 after 25 years By
(November 19, 2009) Oprah Winfrey finally appears ready to call it
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.