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A Few Tremors in Oprahland

What You Should Have Read, May 26, 2008

Published on .

A Few Tremors in Oprahland

The New York Times takes a close look at Oprah Winfrey, who it finds is still the queen of all media, but her crown is beginning to look a bit tarnished. The average audience for "The Oprah Winfrey Show" has fallen nearly 7% this year, according to Nielsen Media Research -- its third straight year of decline. "Oprah's Big Give," an ABC philanthropic reality show, beat every program except "American Idol" in its premiere week this winter, but steadily lost nearly one-third of its audience during the rest of its eight-week run, according to Nielsen. The circulation of O, The Oprah Magazine, has fallen by more than 10% in the last three years, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. The weaker ratings come as Ms. Winfrey is embarking on what is perhaps her biggest project yet: the start-up of OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, a cable channel being created jointly with Discovery Communications. Its programming, though it will not include "The Oprah Winfrey Show," which is under contract with current stations through 2010, will entirely reflect Ms. Winfrey's vision of what she calls empowering programming.
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