Oprah's Long Goodbye Begins With Tears
"Twenty-five years feels right in my bones and feels right in my spirit."
Winfrey offered no specifics about her plans for the future, except to say that she intended to produce the best possible shows during her last 18 months on the air.
"Over this holiday break, my team and I will be brainstorming new ways that we can entertain you and inform you and uplift you when we return here in January," she said. "And then, season 25 - we are going to knock your socks off."
Winfrey talked about being nervous when the 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' began in 1986 and thanked audiences who had invited her into their homes and lives over the past two decades.
"I certainly never could have imagined the yellow brick road of blessings that have led me to this moment," she said.
In a statement released Thursday afternoon by Harpo, Inc. -- Winfrey's production company behind her massive empire -- the company announced that the talk show queen would tell her audience and the world of her show's end on Friday. "The sun will set on the "Oprah" show as its 25th season draws to a close on September 9, 2011," the statement published by WIVB.com says of Winfrey's impending bombshell.
For weeks, rumors of a change in Oprah's show -- namely buzz that Winfrey would be taking her show off of syndicated public television and onto her own cable network -- grew at a frenzied pace. There had been little communication from Oprah or Harpo until this bombshell announcement.
In a report earlier this month, Deadline Hollywood Daily blogger Nikki Finke reported that Winfrey would be taking her show to her cable network OWN (The Oprah Winfrey Network) and that there was a good deal of behind-the-scenes tension between Winfrey, CBS and Discovery Communications over the decision. Finke's reporting seems to be dead-on, as the Nov. 5 post stated: "in several weeks, Oprah will tell the public that she's ending her syndicated Chicago-based daytime talk show when her current deal runs out and moving it to OWN headquarters in Los Angeles probably as soon as mid-2011."
According to the New York Times, both CBS and ABC stand to lose millions from her departure.
CBS owns syndication rights to Oprah's show, while ABC airs the program -- which generates high ratings and leads into the network's local news.
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