Oprah Winfrey to end celebrated TV talk show in 2011

Oprah Winfrey, 55, will announce on Friday that she's giving up her popular daytime talk show when her contract end in 2011, and is expected to move to cable network OWN, or Oprah Winfrey Network, a Los Angeles-based joint venture she formed with Discovery Communications Inc

Winfrey's production company, Harpo Inc, said on Thursday she would make the official announcement on Friday's live program from Chicago and talk about the reasons behind the decision to end it after 25 years on the air. Locally, WABC/Ch. 7 broke the news on air and on its Web site.

"The sun will set on the 'Oprah' show as its 25th season draws to a close on September 9, 2011," Harpo president Tim Bennett said in the letter.

In doing so, Winfrey is closing out one of the most successful runs of a daytime talk show in television history. Over the course of her run, she's beaten every competitor, built a media empire spanning movies, a magazine and TV - and along the way proven she can move people to vote, buy books, clothes, and even face cream.

"She established a style of the daytime talk show," said Syracuse professor Robert Thompson. "When she first started, she was doing the kind of standard daytime talk show. Then she shifted styles. She dressed up the talk show neighborhood."

While her daily ratings are not as big as they used to be, its unlikely another daytime talk show will be able to replace the drawing power of "Oprah" anytime soon.

Likewise, the announcement comes after a series of high profile interviews aired, including Tuesday's sitdown with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. That appearance generated Winfrey's biggest audience since 2007.

Winfrey, and Discovery Networks have a partnership to convert the Discovery Health Channel, now reaching 70 million homes, to the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), which she will program. It's expected to launch in 2011, and there's been chatter Winfrey will host a show there.

She publicly promoted Barack Obama during his 2008 presidential campaign and her program became a platform this week for Republican 2008 vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin to launch her book, "Going Rogue."

Actor Tom Cruise, the late Michael Jackson, and singer Whitney Houston are among the celebrities to have sat on, jumped on and poured out their hearts on her couch since the program began in 1986.

Via - NYDailyNews

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not surprisingly, Oprah plans on moving onto bigger and better things

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