Oprah Winfrey Calls it Quits, Prompts Speculation About a Replacement

The next queen of daytime: Katie Couric, Michelle Obama?

ByABC News via GMA logo
November 19, 2009, 6:36 PM

Nov. 20, 2009 — -- Oprah' Winfrey's impending announcement that she will end her wildly successful daytime talk show in 2011 is more than just a good-bye, it's the end of an era.

"She has been one of the family for Americans for 25 years," Tina Brown, founder and editor-in-chief of The Daily Beast told "Good Morning America" today. "The audience is just going to have to follow her, right?"

But where Winfrey will go from here remains to be seen. Winfrey notified her staff late Thursday afternoon that she would be ending her talk show on Sept. 9, 2011, just as the show will mark 25 years on the air. The meeting, insiders say, was "emotional, supportive and respectful."

Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz told "Good Morning America" today that while the natural reaction is to consider a replacement in the daytime talk community, it won't be as simple as finding another charismatic personality.

"She has this trust, this intimate connection with the audience because she talks about her own mistakes" and invites others to do the same, he said. "I'm not sure Oprah can be replaced."