Oprah Winfrey might be disappearing from local TV sets come 2011 if she doesn't extend her contract, but don't expect her to gone for good if she doesn't.
Winfrey -- who's set to launch her own cable network next year called "OWN" -- could shift her show there once its syndication deal ends in 2011.
"The expectation is that after that, her show will go off of ABC in syndication and she will come to OWN," Discovery CEO David Zaslav said on the company's first earnings call as a public company. "We're talking now about what the presence will be and what kind of programming she would be involved in directly. But this is her Chapter 2, and building the OWN brand online and on air is ... a core mission for her."
Representatives from Harpo Productions issued a statement following Zaslav's comments, reiterating that Winfrey has not made a decision on whether to end her show's syndication in 2011.
"While David Zaslav's comments are true that Oprah's current contract to produce 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' will expire in 2011, she has not made a final decision as to whether she will continue her show in syndication beyond that," said Lisa Halliday, Chief Spokesperson for Harpo Productions, Inc.
Zaslav went on to say Winfrey is "very involved with us and focusing on what the channel is going to be, as well as developing Oprah.com."