Oprah is long gone — she taped her last show for broadcast syndication eight months ago — but her presence (or absence) is still being felt throughout broadcasting and will pervade the NATPE conference next week in Miami Beach. She’ll continue to be the measure by which every other talk show evaluates itself and the subject of countless conversations about her impact on broadcasting.
Despite the brand name of perhaps the most famous and beloved woman in the history of television, Oprah Winfrey’s OWN cable network is not doing well. It suggests that Oprah didn’t fully appreciate the promotional power and quality programming environment she had during her long run in broadcasting. So here’s a suggestion for her: Turn OWN into a multicast channel and seek carriage on broadcast subchannels. Suddenly, instead of working against you, you will have TV stations working for you again.
Nearly six months after Oprah Winfrey finished her syndicated talk show, it’s clear that no one will come close to replacing the queen of daytime in ratings. It doesn’t look like anyone has inherited her viewers, either. The top remaining talk shows are drawing numbers only half as good as Winfrey’s, and none of the new shows has stood out.
Most of the seven top-25 stations that filled the 4 p.m. time period left by Oprah‘s departure with local newscasts report they’re pleased with their performance so far in this new TV season. Three are holding their top positions in household ratings, and at least two more are leading their markets in key demos. Here’s a first look at how the newscasts are doing.
Oprah Winfrey, TV’s greatest hit-maker, is counting on Rosie O’Donnell to save her struggling cable network. OWN — which launched New Year’s Day to un-Oprah-like ratings — has already burned through more than $150 million in start-up money without producing a single hit show. The irony of history’s most-successful talker looking to a former rival to save her network may be the biggest story of the upcoming fall season.
She also adds chief creative officer of the cable network to her previous role of chairman. Harpo Studios’ Erik Logan and Sheri Salata are named presidents.