The Oprah show has officially given the date for its final curtain call. We told you earlier this week that “>CBS studios was not going to be able to pay Oprah that big chunk of change that she’s use too. Instead of working out a deal, Ol’ Harpo decides to cancel the show.
In another blow to the struggling business of network television, Oprah Winfrey is expected to announce on her program today that she will step down from her syndicated afternoon talk show, which over the last two decades has transformed her into one of the richest and most influential forces in popular culture.
Although she has kept mum about her plans, Winfrey, 55, is expected to furnish a new show to OWN: the Oprah Winfrey Network, the long-delayed cable outlet she is starting in partnership with Discovery Communications. The network is scheduled to roll out in 2011 in about 75 million U.S. homes.
The media personality and mogul — whose show has served as the main pedestal from which she has engaged newsmakers high and low, transformed obscure products and personalities into runaway successes, and preached a gospel of self-empowerment to her devoted, largely female audience — is betting that, in a world of ever-fragmenting audiences, the future lies with creating her own branded network. She was recently ranked No. 234 on a Forbes list of the world’s richest people, with an estimated net worth of $2.7 billion.
Although Winfrey could not be reached for comment, Tim Bennett, the president of Winfrey’s Chicago-based production company, Harpo Inc., confirmed in an e-mail Thursday to station partners that she would end the existing program Sept. 9, 2011.
“Oprah’s personal comments about this on tomorrow’s live show will mark a historic television moment that we will all be talking about for years to come,” Bennett wrote.
Oprah had the most successful talk show ever. She deserves to end it on her terms.