Chief Executive Oprah? How Winfrey has Fared as a Businesswoman Since Ending her Talk Show

Oprah Winfrey had one of the great successes in modern television with the long-running “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”

The syndicated talk program was a cultural phenomenon and ratings juggernaut that changed how American consumers shopped and thought and anchored a series of flourishing businesses.

Winfrey ended the show in 2011 after 25 years on the air. And her business track record since then has been more mixed.

With the prospect of the mogul challenging President Trump at once galvanizing progressives and repelling conservatives, that résumé is likely to be scrutinized. Many of the discussions after Winfrey’s rousing Golden Globes speech center on questions of politics and personality. But not to be discounted is her record as an entrepreneur post-show.

Winfrey’s biggest swing has been with OWN, the basic-cable network she launched seven years ago in 80 million homes as a 50-50 joint venture between her Harpo, Inc. and Discovery. A ratings drag in its early years — much of its self-help-oriented programming did not land, hindered by the fact that Winfrey did not appear in it — and a series of layoffs followed.

Winfrey’s empire is no doubt lucrative — Forbes put her worth at $3 billion in 2017, making her the world’s richest African American. (Incidentally, that level of business success, while helping to cement her case for the country’s top executive position, could also paradoxically be a stumbling block to it. The Ethics Reform Act of 1989 forbids many government officials from allowing their names to be used by an outfit that “provides professional services involving a fiduciary relationship.” Like the man she would presumably challenge, Winfrey would seem to be a prime candidate for this statute, since much of her success is tied to her brand.)

(Excerpt) Read More at: WashingtonPost.com

Chief Executive Oprah? How Winfrey has Fared as a Businesswoman Since Ending her Talk Show

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