Oprah Winfrey Ending the Most Successful Television Show Ever

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Oprah Winfrey has announced that she is ending her show after its 25th season.  You can see why she's doing it:  one of the wealthiest people in America, with $2.6 billion to her name, Ms. Winfrey hardly needs to keep showing up for a job that must be getting a little repetitive by now.  Moreover, she still has a massive media empire with properties like O Magazine to keep the money rolling in.  And with the termination of her show, she'll be launching her very own cable network, OWN.

Of course, it remains to be seen whether her empire will remain intact after she leaves broadcast television.  For all the complaints about the declining viewership of the Big Four, they have many times the audience of the Discovery Channel, which is helping Ms. Winfrey launch her new property.  Memories are short in the media business. Will women continue to buy her magazine if they aren't spending their weekday afternoons watching her show?

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Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

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