It appears the end of Oprah Winfrey’s syndicated network talk show may be in sight, according to one TV executive.
Discovery Communications, which is teaming up with Oprah for her new OWN cable network, expects the TV talk queen to stop doing her syndicated program in September 2011, according to a report by TV Week.
“The expectation is that after that, her show will go off of ABC in syndication and she will come to OWN,” Discovery CEO David Zaslav told reporters. “We’re talking now about what the presence will be and what kind of programming she would be involved in directly. But this is her Chapter 2, and building the OWN brand online and on air is… a core mission for her.”
“While David Zaslav’s comments are true that Oprah’s current contract to produce ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ will expire in 2011, she has not made a final decision as to whether she will continue her show in syndication beyond that,” the spokesperson told Access.
Back in January, Oprah announced she was launching OWN – The Oprah Winfrey Network.
While she will share 50/50 ownership with Discovery Networks, Oprah, who will serve as the chairman of the network, will have full editorial control over the channel and its Web site.
“Fifteen years ago, I wrote in my journal that one day I would create a television network, as I always felt my show was just the beginning of what the future could hold,” Oprah said in a press release at the time. “For me, the launch of ‘The Oprah Winfrey Network’ is the evolution of the work I’ve been doing on television all these years and a natural extension of my show.”
In announcing her new TV venture, Oprah assured her fans OWN would not interfere with her fulfilling her commitment to “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” whose contract expires in 2011.
“The truth of the matter is one day that show has to end,” Oprah said on Tuesday. “The show will come to an end in its current form at some point. That may be 2011 and it may be after 2011. I have to actually make the decision long before 2011.”
OWN is slated to debut in 2009 on what is currently the Discovery Health Channel.
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