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What will TV be like without OPRAH?

by Maggie O'Mara

Bio | Email | Follow: @maggiektvb7


Posted on November 20, 2009 at 8:12 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 7:42 AM

Is OPRAH really calling it quits?

I honestly can't remember a time when she wasn't on TV! Oprah's been doing her show for close to 25 years... and now we hear it's coming to an end.

Yesterday, we learned that on today's show, Oprah Winfrey will announce that she'll be ending her run as daytime's queen of talk. Her last show will be in September of 2011.

Since "The Oprah Winfrey Show" airs here on KTVB, we got this e-mail yesterday from the President of HARPO, Inc - giving us advance notice of her big announcement:  

 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 Friday, 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.

Friday, 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 with your colleagues and viewers.  As we all know, Oprah's personal comments about this on Friday'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. 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.

A Harpo spokeswoman isn't commenting on Oprah's plans, but she did say her show will not move to cable television. But, we hear Oprah is expected to start up a brand new talk show on OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network in 2011.

Over the last 25 years, Oprah Winfrey has built a media empire. Harpo Studios produces shows hosted by Dr. Phil and by Rachael Ray. She also has her own magazine - "O".  Forbes Magazine says Winfrey's net worth now stands at $2.7 billion.

You can watch Oprah make her big announcement on the show today at 4pm on Channel 7, or tonight on 24/7 at 9pm.

Something tells me we haven't seen the last of OPRAH!