End of an Era: Oprah Ending Show After 25 years

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After 25 seasons, The Oprah Winfrey Show is coming to an end - at least its current form.

On Friday, a tearful Oprah Winfrey told her studio audience that her last show would air in 2011, saying her decision was preceded by "prayer and careful thought."

"Twenty-five years feels right in my bones and feels right in my spirit," she said.

However, the 55-year-old media mogul will not be disappearing from the airwaves.

She is expected to launch a new talk program on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), a joint-venture with Discovery Communications Inc. that is set to debut during 2011 in roughly 74 million homes. The network will be replacing the Discovery Health Channel.

CBS Corp., which earns a sizable amount of money in licensing fees from TV stations that air the show, will no doubt feel the loss.

"If there's a negative impact, it wouldn't hit us until '12." CBS Chief Executive Leslie Moonves said.

"Oprah's been a force of media and there's really no person you can look to out there who you could say, `That's the heir apparent,"' said Larry Gerbrandt, an analyst for Media Valuation Partners in Los Angeles.

The Oprah Winfrey Show is seen by an estimated 42 million viewers in the U.S. and it airs in 145 different countries.

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