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Oprah Winfrey to quit daytime talk show in 2011 to focus on new cable network

Oprah Oprah Winfrey is taking her act to cable.

The talk show diva who has ruled daytime TV for almost a quarter of a century is pulling the plug when her current deal expires in the fall of 2011. She will likely resurface on OWN, the cable network she is starting with Discovery Communications.

The move was not entirely unexpected. Once Winfrey agreed to partner with Discovery on the Oprah Winfrey Network, there was a general assumption that she would ultimately focus all her creative efforts there. OWN, which was originally supposed to launch this year, is now looking to debut in January 2011.

Winfrey will have an on-air presence on OWN as well as behind the scenes. While OWN is keeping mum, Winfrey is expected to have a daily show, although the approach will probably be different than her current studio audience-and-guest format. OWN declined to comment.

Winfrey made her national debut in 1986 when Phil Donahue was still ruling talk. It didn't take her long to drive him off the airwaves. Over the course of her show's run it has veered from classy and educational to tabloid and sleazy. She spawned a host of imitators and clones ranging from Jerry Springer to Ellen DeGeneres. Daytime television was a sleepy business that Winfrey revolutionized. Her syndicated show generated hundreds of millions of dollars a year in revenue.

-- Joe Flint

Photo: Oprah Winfrey at the Vanity Fair party following the 2007 Academy Awards. Credit: Rich Schmitt/AFP/Getty Images.

Comments () | Archives (9)

Not surprising. Oprah has a strong dislike of CBS Distribution and its take over of King World. She just announced that Nate's new syndicated series will go through Sony, as does Dr. OZ.

Hooray for Ellen! She is fresh, funny, light and her hour is entirely enjoyable. Not sure what the WBTVD deals are in place but if they can't make hay now that Oprah is gone, shame on them.

Good, I'm glad Oprah is taking a little time off, her ego needs a rest as do we.

Thank goodness for this! So tired of Oprah and her followers.

Imagine if the women of the United States actually did something productive instead of watching Oprah's show...

25 years x 23 million viewers/week x 50 weeks=

14.5 Million Woman Years of time wasted. A staggering financial loss to this country.

Good for her. I'd like to see her continue to do well, versus an idiot like Howard Stern who has done nothing to elevate people.

Good riddance.

The fact that her show has lasted so long just proves the point that there are too many lazy americans out there with a lot of time to kill.

Anyone with a real job doesn't have time to waste on her senseless dribble. Good riddance.

I won't miss the Oprahization of America either.

Oprah didn't "revolutionize" daytime talk shows: her writers, producers, and agents did. Phil Donahue had totally paved her way in advance. She's really not that revolutionary, just another talking head. I never got the big attraction. I've watched some of her shows; predictable and boring. The best thing about Oprah is the send-up of her and "Dr. Phil" on MAD TV. Hilarious.
Oprah. Yawn.


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