The Queen of Day Time Talk has taken some hits lately on everything from her school in South Africa to her weight to her endorsement of President Obama in 2008 to her love for all things “New Age-y,” but the latest trend in THE END OF OPRAH meme involves her ratings, which have slid by seven percent this year.
The Associated Press reported yesterday that the ratings for “The Oprah Winfrey Show” were down 7 percent last year, understandable against a backdrop of atomizing audiences, but not something you tend to hear about the invincible Ms. Winfrey. The A.P. points out that other daytimers like Jerry Springer and Martha Stewart are down double digits, which is a little hard to figure given that so many Americans are stuck at home on their couch without a job. But Ms. Winfrey has always managed to defy larger trends, so she is opening her 24th season with a Whitney Houston exclusive and a return of Dr. Phil after seven years. Still, she may be up against some self-created turbulence, according to the A.P.
From the Associated Press:
By endorsing Barack Obama and campaigning for him, she shucked her apolitical image. Winfrey’s book club selection of Eckhart Tolle’s New Age religion book ”A New Earth” angered some conservative Christians — even though Winfrey’s producer said Winfrey was careful not to push Tolle’s views on viewers through the television show.”
But is Oprah really paying a price for supporting Barack Obama for prez OR is this just part of the natural waning cycle for a show that has been on the air since I was in elementary school? TV By the Numbers shot the Oprah’s decline due to politics, controversies theory in the foot by pointing out that all daytime shows are down, many in the double-digits and that they couldn’t find any conclusive evidence that Oprah’s political views caused it.
(W)henever we looked at it, we couldn’t come up with anything to actually support the case. At least unless we could somehow attribute decreases with Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune to Oprah’s endorsement of Obama too.
It’s true that some of Oprah’s audience was offended by her endorsement of Obama, but it’s also true that people are ALWAYS trying to predict the demise of Oprah. It’s practically a sport for some people. But no matter what the prognosticators say, Oprah Winfrey has remained successful, adaptable and resilient. Love her or hate her, Oprah doesn’t seem to be going anywhere and if she invited me or any other blogger/writer/author on the show tomorrow we would break our necks and knock down our own mamas to get some of that Oprah seal of approval.
But what do you think? Did Oprah’s politics hurt her or is the media making much ado about nothing?
Side note: With unemployment up you’d think MORE people would be watching daytime TV, but considering how their homes keep getting foreclosed on … maybe not.