VIA THE NEW YORK TIMES:
The media mogul Oprah Winfrey will end her iconic daytime talk show, “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” in 2011 as she prepares to start a cable channel of her own.
A spokeswoman for Ms. Winfrey’s production company confirmed Thursday evening that Ms. Winfrey will make the announcement on her program on Friday. The plans were first reported by WABC, the ABC affiliate in New York City.
“The sun will set on the Oprah show as its 25th season draws to a close on September 9, 2011,” WABC said.
In a statement, CBS Television Distribution said, “We have the greatest respect for Oprah and wish her nothing but the best in her future endeavors. 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.”
Ms. Winfrey, 55, informed her talk show staff of the decision on Thursday afternoon. The news immediately rattled the television world, which had expected that she would make a decision about the fate of her program by the end of the year.
After her broadcast talk show winds down, Ms. Winfrey will concentrate exclusively on her forthcoming cable channel, OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network. The channel is a joint venture between her production company and Discovery Communications. Getting the channel off the ground has proved challenging amid management turnover and an uncertain advertising climate.
OWN will premiere on cable in January 2011, according to a person with knowledge of Ms. Winfrey’s decision who insisted on anonymity. That timeline will theoretically give Ms. Winfrey about nine months to promote her cable channel on her existing show.
“The Oprah Winfrey Show” remains the most successful talk show in syndication, reaching about seven million viewers a day. It has been vital to the success of ABC, whose local station group has been the primary home of the show since it started in syndication in 1986.
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