Daytime Shocker: Oprah to Leave Talk Show in 2011

After a 25-year run, Oprah will leave her talk show — and its massive impact — behind.

Last Updated: June 27, 2010 @ 12:15 AM

Oprah Winfrey's show will end in 2011 after a 25-year-run, according to a statement from CBS.

The talk-show host and media mogul plans to announce during a Friday taping of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" that her final broadcasts will be held in September of 2011.

"We have the greatest respect for Oprah and wish her nothing but the best in her future endeavors," the CBS statement reads. "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."

Harpo, Inc., did not immediately respond to requests for comment from TheWrap.

TheWrap suggested in early November that Winfrey might be planning to bow out of her decades-long career to focus on her new cable network. At the time, Winfrey had transferred Lisa Erspamer, one of her top lieutenants from Chicago and the co-executive producer of the show, to Los Angeles to be the chief creative officer for the nascnet Oprah Winfrey Network, fuelling speculation that the talk show queen herself might soon follow.

 Like everything else on daytime television, ratings have been way down in recent years for "The Oprah Winfrey Show," which is coming off its worst summer on record, audience-wise, and averaging a 5.4 metered-market rating, according to Nielsen. That number is half of what it was a decade ago.

ABC owned and operated stations, which license the show from CBS TV Distribution in the biggest TV markets, pay a premium for the program, with WABC-TV in New York coughing up $310,000 a week for "Oprah,” and KABC-TV in L.A. paying $230,000.

Meanwhile, they’re getting less "Oprah" than ever. Winfrey’s current contract requires her to produce only 26 weeks of original episodes next season — normal daytime shows do about 39 weeks of originals.

However, “Oprah” is still by far the most popular, influential show on daytime television. And the stations that license it not only get Winfrey’s still robust audience, they are able to use the show to prop up other profit centers. Most stations that license “Oprah” use it to lead into their local newscast, for example.

More to read on Oprah:

Is Oprah Winfrey getting closer to leaving daytime?

Oprah network adds Discovery exec

A crack in Oprah's new network


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