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Not Everyone Likes Oprah...Gasp!

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oprah winfrey larger than life image may be shrinking

Has billionaire Oprah Winfrey's image started to slip? According to The New York Times, nearly every aspect of Oprah's empire has had a downturn over the past three years. Make no mistake - the brand is very much alive but the slippage is significant.

The Oprah Winfrey Show has lost 7 percent of it's viewership this year alone. Nielsen Media Research statistics show that it is the third straight year of decline for the afternoon talk show. It remains the top talk show but is declining while Ellen DeGeneres is gaining market share.

O's latest television venture, Oprah's Big Give started hot out of the gate but declined rapidly. Initial word was that the ABC reality program was canceled after one season. Oprah's camp immediately issued a statement saying they chose not to renew and eventually ABC chimed in and said they loved the show and would have given it a second season nod had it not been for Oprah's decision to curtail the project.

The Audit Bureau of Circulations reports that Oprah's magazine O has fallen off more than 10 percent in the last three years. This significant loss of market share has prompted the retirement of editor in chief Amy Gross. She will stay at the helm until her replacement is in place.

Oprah has taken a bit of a beating for her endorsement of political candidate Barack Obama. Some speculate that she has fallen out of favor with many of the middle aged white women who support Senator Hillary Clinton. A Gallup poll was conducted shortly after Winfrey declared herself an Obama supporter in October 2007. Her favorable rating fell by 8 percentage points while here unfavorable rating jumped to 26 percent from 17 percent. Clearly the endorsement hurt O. The celebrity has not been involved in the campaign since February.

The president of Harpo Productions, Tim Bennett, doesn't believe that Oprah's political endorsement has caused her primary business venture to falter. His theory is that the decline is due to a general weakness in the overall television audience. He contends that they have not received any feedback that would suggest anything is amiss.

The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls is perhaps Winfrey's crowning accomplishment and even that philanthropic venture received negative publicity last year over allegations that a dorm matron was abusing students. A trial is scheduled to start in July.

One of Harpo's latest programs, The Rachael Ray Show, has recently fallen off of Nielsen's list of the top 25 syndicated programs. A new development deal is in the works featuring Kirstie Alley. The actress recently severed ties with weight loss maven Jenny Craig and is reportedly putting together her own program.

Oprah is embarking on a new cable channel startup in conjunction with Discovery Communications. The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) will broadcast empowering programs. She also has a new gig going on Satellite radio.

Clearly the empire is still churning right along and generating mega revenue at every turn. Evidence is mounting that would suggest that people have started to consider Oprah a mere mortal where once she was worshiped by the masses; no doubt a humbling experience for Lady O - and then again maybe not.

Check out photos below.


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I see the reference to Oprah's audience possibly leaving because of support for Obama over Hilary Clinton. It may come as a surpise to some, but quite a few Republicans and Independents do watch Oprah and an endorsement of any kind to any party is a damper for her show.
A show like hers is generally viewed as neutral and maybe even critiquing the 'system'. The Democrat party is just as responsible for some of the injustices for women and african-americans as the Republicans are portrayed as being.

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Regards Oprah taking all her staff on a cruise (July 2009) What a generous lady but without being a kill-joy or a case of sour grapes I just hope that none of her staff return with Mal de Debarquement Syndrome (MdDS). Perhaps Oprah should feature it on one of her shows? After all she’s always looking for unusual medical conditions.

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Although I think Oprah means well and still does do some good, she has dropped a fair amount in my estimation over the last 7 or so years. Previously her appeal was that she was 'one of us' (ie 'every woman") but her fame seems to have finally gone to her head. (I guess when EVERYOBODY you meet kisses your butt, youre bound to become arrogant?) I think Kathy Griffith nailed it when she said 'Oprah thinks she's Jesus".
Oprah speaks as though she's the great authority on all things...as though she knows whats true and whats right, and we're supposed to bow down and fall in lockstep with her ever more questionable viewpoints (not the least of which was her recent endorsenment of moms teaching their 12 year old daughters how to masturbate.) And yet, after all her MANY years of influence, I was disapointed that she never once used it to address the critical issues plaguing the black community. Not until a year ago, and even then, she let her guest (Bill Cosby) be the one to take that risk/opportunity.
Heck...4 years ago she allowed her guest Cameron Diaz to state: "'If Bush gets elected, rape will become legal." What?? Talk about misinformation, and yet Oprah let that absurd statement go unchallanged? Wow. As a registered Democrat, even I was embarrased by that blatant attempt at swaying the vote with an outright lie.
Maybe it was timed with Oprah's move from Indiana to Santa Barbara, but she definitly turned 'Hollywood' on us in recent years and lost touch with 'us commoners'. (She even took Rachel Ray out of context by exploiting Rachels cooking popularity, giving her a talk show, and diminishing her 'one of us' appeal as well.....imho. )
I often wonder if Gail is the only person who has the guts to stand up to Oprah? EVERYONE else sure leaves their smooch marks all over her butt. But maybe Oprah's got it right? Maybe most people ARE sheep willing to relinquish their ability to think for themselves?
With all due respect.....(and we ALL are due respect) ....I'm just hoping thats not the case..

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The main reason she has gone down in the ratings and respect dept. has to do with her being a cult apologist. Tom Cruise and $cientology being at the top of the list.

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Oprah is on the list of people I have absolutely no reason to think or care about.

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