After what seemed like a spring of false finales, the final episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show has aired. Winfrey's new show, Oprah's Next Chapter, is slated to debut on her OWN network in early 2012, but the closing of a 25-season run that made "syndication" seem like the latest and greatest get rich quick scheme seemed like an end to an era. Here are our picks for the essential Oprah stories you need to be reading, clicking, and watching this evening:
Oprah says goodbye, ponders her next move The Washington Post's Dan Zak offered the most complete big-picture look at Oprah's impact on television, gender, and race in America. He also raises tantalizing questions about whether the move to cable will somehow diminish the unique (one interview subject calls it "spiritual") role she's filled in daily American life.
How I gave Oprah her start In 2005, Roger Ebert blogged about the night he suggested to Oprah that she should go into syndication. How much money did she make off that decision. "Estimate how much I made in a year, 20 years ago," says Ebert. "Carry out the other multiplications described above. Times 20."
Oprah doesn't give out cars, just reflection on last show For those who missed the finale, there was no big giveaway of cars or tree. The Chicago Sun-Times runs thorough account of what was on display, namely empathy, self-deprecating humor, her patented style of cheerleading, and a promise that the farewell was only "until we meet again."