Oprah will end her show in 2011

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Rumors, rumors, rumors for weeks. And now confirmation: Oprah's ending her show in 2011.

Oprah is reportedly announcing live on Friday's show that she will end her rule of daytime TV talk at the close of her 25th season, on Sept. 9, 2011.

A statement from Harpo Productions president Tim Bennett was sent this evening to TV affiliates, saying:

Dear Friends:

Over the past several weeks, my team and I have had conversations with many of you to help address your questions about the future of "The Oprah Winfrey Show." Of course, the one question we couldn't answer was the one that only Oprah could. And tomorrow, she will do just that.

But before she speaks to her loyal viewers, we wanted to share her decision first with you - our valued partners for more than two decades.

Tomorrow, Oprah will announce live on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" that she has decided to end what is arguably one of the most popular, influential and enduring programs in television history. The sun will set on the "Oprah" show as its 25th season draws to a close on September 9, 2011.

We welcome you to share this news this evening with your colleagues and viewers. As we all know, Oprah's personal comments about this on tomorrow's live show will mark an historic television moment that we will all be talking about for years to come.

We want to thank you for the partnership and friendship we have shared over the years. Your invaluable support has helped us to create the phenomenon of the "Oprah Show" that we've all been so proud to be a part of for the last 24 years. My staff and I will be calling all of you directly tonight and tomorrow. We look forward to speaking with you.

And, if you think the last quarter century has been something, then "don't touch that dial" as together we plan to make history in the next 20 months...and beyond.

Yours sincerely,
Tim Bennett
President, Harpo, Inc.

Staffers at Harpo were told in a meeting this afternoon. Severance packages were even discussed for various levels of service.

Now the question remains: Will she stay in Chicago?

Last week, rumors swirled that Oprah would be moving her show to Los Angeles, so she could be better located to oversee the launch of her upcoming cable channel, OWN. A Harpo spokesperson denied that report at the time.

MSNBC mentions unnamed sources saying "that Winfrey will host a new daily talk show on OWN, and will also host specials for the network." (This was reported on a blog earlier this month.) But no one yet is saying where that will take place.

The New York Times, however, reports that when Oprah informed her staff of the decision she said "she will not transfer the show to cable. She is expected to produce new programs for OWN, and may appear on some of them."

The timing of the move coincides with what was shaping up to be a tough renewal of syndication for "The Oprah Winfrey Show." Local affiliates, many of whom are suffering from decreased revenues, were beginning to balk at the show's high price tag -- especially since her ratings had begun to slip, giving them less bang for the Oprah buck (even though this week's Sarah Palin interview went through the roof).

The show's syndicator, CBS TV Distribution, also issued a statement this evening: "We have the greatest respect for Oprah and wish her nothing but the best in her future endeavors. We know that anything she turns her hand to will be a great success. We look forward to working with her for the next several years and hopefully afterwards as well."


Earlier speculation and summation ...

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5 Comments

I beleive Oprah has done enough I say let Oprah go and enjoy her life. Oprah has already done enough for people by giving out free cars and going all the way to Africa to start her on school for girls. Oprah has impacted so many peoples lives by encouuring them to keep the fath i truly belive Oprah is truly an angel sent from heaven.

Oprah should have plenty of extra time to write more books and travel now that she no longer has her show to occupy so much of her life

Oprah, I challege you to go back to your interview with Whitney and say the same words you said to her, to yourself. You told her that she had been given a gift and did not have the right to stop using it. Thats how I feel abot you ending your show. You will quite the voices of millions of people that can only speak out thru you. Also your inverview with Mantel Williams you asked him if he misses doing the show and he said that he feels powerless. He said that the one thing that he misses is having a voice in times of crisis or when someone approches him with a tragedy, he no longer has access to millions of people to make a real difference. I am dissapointed that you think you have the right to choose a different path than the one you were born to walk on. I believe you also, will regret not having access to a world where you can make a difference in one hour. I love you and thank you for helping me grow in so many areas, Iam just sad that you wont do the same for my kids and the generations to come.......

Millie :(

I will miss Oprah. I was visiting sites to see peoples reactions and I found a post about her show by a man. You can read his reaction here: http://morningerection.wordpress.com/2009/11/20/oprah-winfrey-to-end-show-in-2011/.

It seems everyone loves Oprah.

What will we do? The greatest reality show in history would be for Oprah to choose a replacement!!! The world would tune in to see Oprah choose an individual that would take television forward for the next 25 years. I would love to see it, I would love to be apart of it!!!!

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This page contains a single entry by Thomas Conner published on November 19, 2009 5:28 PM.

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