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OPRAH?TO?QUIT IN ’11

The end is near.<p></p>

The end is near.

Oprah Winfrey will announce today she’s pulling the plug on her renowned talk show in 2011 after 25 years on the air.

“If you think the last quarter century has been something, then ‘don’t touch that dial’ as together we plan to make history in the next 20 months ... and beyond,” read a memo sent Thursday to stations that carry her syndicated show.

Over the decades, a guest seat on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” has become a powerful slot for launching book sales, political campaigns, charitable giving and social consciousness. Along the way, the show became an undeniable force in popular culture through moments such as her audience car giveaway and Tom Cruise’s bizarre and acrobatic profession of love for Katie Holmes. It has also made Winfrey a powerhouse.

The longest running daytime talk show on television with about 7 million viewers has been slipping over the last year, however, and lost some 10 percent of its peak audience.

The announcement, which she was to make to her audience during a live broadcast, was anticipated since last January when she announced the creation the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), which will replace the Discovery Health channel on cable television.

“The Oprah Winfrey Show” technically started in 1984 when Winfrey became host of “A.M. Chicago” a local talk show. It was renamed “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in 1985 and syndicated under her own production company, Harpo, the next year.

The last episode is slated for Sept. 9, 2011.

 
 
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