Daytime television authority Oprah Winfrey announced today that her talk show will end after 25 years of running, marking Sept. 9, 2011 the final episode date.
“I love this show. This show has been my life. And I love it enough to know when it’s time to say goodbye,” Winfrey said in a statement. “Twenty-five years feels right in my bones, and it feels right in my spirit. It’s the perfect number—the exact right time.”
At the same time, Winfrey will start to prepare for the launch of her upcoming 24-hour cable network. A joint venture with Discovery Communications, OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, kicks off its programming on January 2011.
Winfrey’s television career began at age 19, when she covered local news in Nashville. She later hosted A.M. Chicago, and boosted the show’s ratings with the addition of a live audience and syndication from film critic Roger Ebert.
Since it first aired on Sept. 8, 1986, The Oprah Winfrey Show has garnered an estimated 42 million U.S. viewers per week, making the show a considerable launchpad for her Book Club and magazine. The massive viewership has led the power of her product endorsement to be known as The Oprah Effect.