Oprah Winfrey announced last week that she will end her daytime talk show on Sept. 9, 2011. The final episode will also commemorate the show’s 25th anniversary.
After the announcement, most media outlets were shocked about the decision. According to The Associated Press, “The Oprah Winfrey Show” is syndicated in 145 countries. She has made a huge impact on people around the world, and one can see how heartbreaking this announcement is.
“I don’t watch that often, but she has definitely had an impact on me personally,” Tanya Wallis, a viewer of the talk show, said to the AP. “She has helped me broaden my horizons and to diversify to look at others with more acceptance. We are all part of the human family.”
Oprah’s show narrowed racial barriers in the U.S. and the rest of the world. She has inspired people of all colors, shapes and ages.
On Friday, Winfrey said the decision “feels right in my bones and it feels right in my spirit.” She also promised the last 18 months to be an incredible experience for all those in the studio, as well as her home audience.
Winfrey’s absence will create a major gap, with TV executives left with the important decision of finding a replacement.
Potential talk show hosts include Ellen DeGeneres, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Phil McGraw (Dr. Phil) and a few others. Agents are working hard to get their clients even a small chance to compete for the job.
Bill Carroll, who recommends syndicated shows to stations for the Katz Television Group, said: “I’m sure there are a number of people calling their agents today and saying, ‘I think I could be the next Oprah.'”
DeGeneres is the perfect person to fill Oprah’s shoes and should win the time slot.
The Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz shows are popular but they do not target the range of audiences, including females.
“The Oprah Winfrey Show” and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” are very similar. Both invite stars as guests, include audience participation and give out millions of dollars in gifts and prizes.
Just as Winfrey was not the conventional white male talk show host at the time her show started, DeGeneres is also unconventional. She is an open lesbian and is married to her long-term girlfriend, Portia de Rossi.
Winfrey helped limit the racial gap in the U.S. and the world. DeGeneres is also narrowing the gap between homosexuals and heterosexuals.
DeGeneres is very open-minded like Oprah, which makes her a model show host.
The December 2009 issue of “O Magazine,” Winfrey’s monthly publication, features DeGeneres on the cover. It is no coincidence that she’s on the front cover of the magazine not long after Winfrey announced the final date of her show.
Winfrey will recommend who should be her successor, and DeGeneres is the obvious choice.
Xhenis Berberi is a senior majoring in political science and economics.