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October 9, 2015

Is Oprah ending her syndicated show for her OWN show?

by Allison Waldman, posted Nov 6th 2009 9:29AM
Oprah_Winfrey_smilingYesterday there was a story on Deadline Hollywood that Oprah Winfrey would be ending her syndicated talk show in 2011 in order to move over to her OWN cable network. She'd still have a talk show, one based on Los Angeles, but it would not be syndicated. It would be on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), formerly Discovery Health.

Well, after the news was reported all over the place, Oprah's company Harpo, Inc. issued a statement that there would be no announcement until the end of the year. They didn't deny it; they just said the announcement about the switch would be later in the year.

To the average fan, if Oprah stopped her syndicated show, it probably wouldn't matter too much. Most people have basic cable and OWN would probably be a major addition to most cable systems, as well as DirecTV and Dish. Longtime fans would be able to watch Oprah on cable or satellite. No biggie.

So who would take a hit? CBS Television Distribution, which syndicates The Oprah Winfrey Show to local channels. Les Moonves commented about the story today, speaking for the corporate coffers, acknowledging that if the big "O" ended her syndicated show, they'd be the big losers.

To me, this is an inevitability. Oprah was not going to continue her show, in that format, forever. She bought Discovery Health to create a network. It only makes sense that she would anchor OWN -- it's her name on the logo.

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Leaving ABC for OWN is fine, but leaving Chicago for LA-- that bugs me.

As a Chicagoan myself, I'd stop watching for that reason alone.

November 06 2009 at 3:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

not one talk show on cable averages what she does... not even the core neo conservatives o'reilley and beck on fox news. there's no way she gets the same number of eyeballs on a basic cable channel.

November 06 2009 at 1:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't know. Although almost everyone has cable, not everyone does. And, I feel her afternoon presence on ABC for the past xx years has been so established, that should she shift to cable wholly, I believe that she might actually lose viewers. While change is always good, I think her presence on network TV kept mainstream America connected to her. And, although Letterman, as a talk show host, did well switching to a different time and network, it didn't do well for Leno, and I wonder if Oprah might experience the latter as opposed to the former.

November 06 2009 at 10:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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