In a surprise announcement, Oprah Winfrey will tell viewers of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” on Friday that the syndicated talk show is coming to an end. By the time the show ends in September, 2011, it will be finishing its 25th season. A nice note to end it on, I would say. But, if Oprah is canceling her popular TV show, what will she be doing next? And where will she be doing it?
As most Oprah fans know, over the last few years, she has been spending more time doing shows on health, alternative medicine and on living a better life. With guests like Dr. Oz and Dr. Laura Berman, Oprah has been trying to educate her audience about health issues and positive living. Now, moving into a new partnership with Discovery Communications, she will be replacing the existing Discovery Health channel with a channel of her own. Known simply as OWN, (Oprah Winfrey Network – don’t you just love Oprah’s acronyms?), the Oprah Winfrey Network will be airing shows that will be helping people live a better life and showcasing real people in real situations. Fans have shown for decades that they love these types of shows, so this move could be a huge financial advantage for her. Worth already more than $2.4 billion, according to Forbes magazine, OWN will likely catapult her into an even richer financial realm.
With Oprah Winfrey brand name recognition and her enormous fan base, the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), will be the new mega-channel on TV, which will also be highly advantageous for Discover Communications. But why would she make the move from network TV and what, other than the money are the advantages?
Firstly, when you’ve done a show for 25 years, no matter how much you love it, it gets old and stale. Constantly trying to bring new ideas into the ‘same old stuff’ must be frustrating and dull. So, it’s not surprising Oprah has decided to go a new route. Once she’s no longer spending the bulk of her time on “The Oprah Winfrey Show”, with the show closing she’ll have much more time to pursue her true love – talking about positive living and a better life.
Secondly though, and probably the main reason, is the creative control she will now have. Of course, she already has creative control to a certain extent on “The Oprah Winfrey Show”, With her own network, OWN, she’ll have much more creative control and be able to produce even more TV shows selling her message. I would imagine it’s going to be pretty hard for the executives of Discovery Communications to tell Oprah Winfrey what she can and cannot do on OWN. After all, she knows what her audience likes and she knows what sells. Probably a lot better than they do.
Don’t worry, if you’re an Oprah fan, “The Oprah Winfrey Show” will be airing on network TV for another two years, with the show’s planned ending being in September, 2011. Tune in tomorrow, Friday 20th November, 2009 to hear Oprah make her announcement on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” ending. Then, watch her up for her new demanding role as OWN’s ….well……..owner. And expect more announcements about what will be happening there.