Oprah quits and Chicago Mayor Richard Daley is displeased (only he'd put it a little differently)
According to Chicago Mayor Richard "Have a Nice Day" Daley, you can just blame (credit) that dad-gummed media again for chasing that Windy City institution Oprah off of television after compiling a personal federal reserve of only about $2.3 billion.
Oprah has announced she'll close down her daily syndicated chatfest in 2011 (see her tearful announcement video below). But she likely won't be gone long. O, gee, whatever will she call her own channel?
The diva of daytime TV, who's seen the ratings slip some since her prominent presidential campaign involvement, says she's retiring because it's time to leave and it's cold in Chicago and it's warm at her palace in Montecito, California. Also, she's got her man in the White House now.
Chicago's Democrat mayor hasn't been in a real good mood since his president failed to acquire the 2016 Summer Olympics for his adopted hometown.
According to Da Mayor, the real issue over the global star's departure is the stink the media churned up over the city closing down North Michigan Avenue for two days in September to accommodate Oprah's season-opening show taping.
The Chicago Sun-Times quotes the longtime mayor son of a longtime mayor as putting it this way:
She loves this city, and I will be talking to her, but again, that became a big rhubarb of the Chicago press: Beat up Oprah. And so, you keep kicking people, and people will leave. Simple as that.
Speaking in his usual straight face, and strangely in the past tense, Daley....
... also said: "I think she was the most successful woman that we will ever know in the history of this country." That should warm up the temperature for her -- and the rest of the planet.
According to sympathetic city officials always eager for the municipal publicity, the 48-hour closure of that main drag cost only $54,832, which Oprah's company repaid. So what's the big deal? asks the head of the Democrat machine that allowed Barack Obama to emerge on the South Side as long as he didn't make too many waves.
That price to the city, however, doesn't count the cost of increased blood pressures in thousands of notoriously genial Chicago drivers forced to divert to crowded State or Wabash Streets. No reimbursements there.
The mayor's theory may be right, although that would not account for why he and his late father stuck around town for so very many years despite their share of media bashings, scandals, trials and the like. If you have an opinion to share with the mayor, his door is always rarely open. But Daley's office phone is: 312-744-4045.
-- Andrew Malcolm
Oprah would no doubt want you to console yourself by clicking here for Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or follow us @latimestot. And we're also over here on Facebook.Photo: George Burns / Harpo via Associated Press; Chicago Tribune (Mayor Daley on a good day).