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Oprah Winfrey absent from Time's 100 Most Influential list

April 18, 2012 |  1:22 pm

Oprah WinfreyOprah Winfrey has been a constant on Time magazine's annual list of the most influential people in the world, from the inaugural list in 1999 to each subsequent list since it became an annual event in 2004. But the Mighty O's perfect record has come to a crashing halt. For the first time, Winfrey isn't on the list.

To give some perspective, Winfrey, listed nine times, has been on the list more times than Barack Obama (seven times), Hillary Rodham Clinton (seven times), Steve Jobs (five times), Bill Clinton (four times) and the Dalai Lama (three times).

So what happened? Three letters: OWN.

In 2011, Winfrey's juggernaut of a daily talk show was still being syndicated to massive ratings. One year later, the only way to find Winfrey is to seek her out on her cable channel in the vertigo-inducing high numbers of the cable lineup.

Recent ratings successes aside (she drew channel-record high numbers with her interview with Whitney Houston's teenage daughter), the channel has been seen as a disappointment overall, failing to bring in the kind of mass audience that people have come to expect from the Oprah brand.

This year, Winfrey, who took full control of the channel when its struggles became apparent after her daily talk show came to an end last May, had to implement mass layoffs and canceled "The Rosie Show," starring Rosie O'Donnell, which many thought would be the channel's surefire hit.

But there's always room for new blood on the list. And among the first-timers on this year's most influential list: Mitt Romney, Claire Danes, Kristin Wiig and Tim Tebow.

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Photo: Oprah Winfrey. Credit: Frank Gunn / Associated Press.

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