Oprah’s exit opens wide range of possibilities

Oprah’s exit opens wide range of possibilities

There is no single replacement for Oprah Winfrey.

That’s not necessarily a statement about the dominance of her 24-year-old television institution, The Oprah Winfrey Show. Rather, it is the reality of television syndication.

When Winfrey leaves the broadcast airwaves in two years, a stable of talk shows will vie to fill her former time slot on more than 200 stations across the US. Individual stations are bound to place differing bets, drastically reshaping the daytime TV landscape.

As with NBC and Jay Leno earlier this year, the television chess board is being rearranged by a talk show host.

Even before Winfrey announced last Friday that 2011 would be the right time to step off her broadcast stage, TV executives were jostling on behalf of Ellen DeGeneres, Dr Mehmet Oz, Dr Phil McGraw and other hosts who aim to benefit from the syndication shake-up.

©2009/The New York Times