Have we finally grown tired of Oprah Winfrey????
The answer (sadly) seems to be a resounding "Yes!"
The New York Times just wrote this article about the tarnishing of the O brand and they point out some startling facts.
- The average audience for The Oprah Winfrey Show has fallen nearly 7 percent this year, according to Nielsen Media Research — its third straight year of decline.
- The circulation of O, The Oprah Magazine, has fallen by more than 10 percent in the last three years, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, and the magazine is now seeking a new editor in chief after the announced retirement of its longtime steward, Amy Gross.
- Oprah’s Big Give, an ABC philanthropic reality show, beat every program on television except American Idol in its premiere week this winter, but steadily lost nearly one-third of its audience during the rest of its eight-week run, according to Nielsen.
- Her endorsement of the presidential bid of Senator Barack Obama appears to have alienated some of the middle-aged white women who make up the bulk of her television audience, many of whom support Senator Hillary Clinton.
- Ms. Winfrey has lost viewers in some markets while The Ellen DeGeneres Show has gained.
- Ms. Winfrey is also continuing to develop new programs. A spinoff talk show featuring Dr. Mehmet Oz is planned for 2009, and earlier this year she signed a development deal for television projects featuring Kirstie Alley. A syndicated talk/cooking show featuring Rachael Ray has been less successful and has recently fallen out of Nielsen’s list of the top 25 syndicated programs.
- If Ms. Winfrey has cut back any part of her schedule, it has been in appearances in support of Mr. Obama. Following high-profile rallies just prior to the Iowa caucuses in December and leading up to Super Tuesday in February, Ms. Winfrey all but disappeared from the campaign trail, leading some pundits to wonder whether she had gauged a negative effect on her business.
- A Gallup poll conducted in October, shortly after Ms. Winfrey announced her support of Mr. Obama, found that her “favorable” rating fell by 8 percentage points, to 66 percent, from 74 percent in January 2007; her “unfavorable” mark jumped by more than half, to 26 percent from 17 percent.
Tough times for Winfrey!!!
What can Oprah do to turn things around?????
[Photo via Getty Images.]