May 27, 2008


A Few Tremors in Oprahland (EDWARD WYATT, 5/26/08, NY Times)

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. “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.

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.

And while Ms. Winfrey still displays a Midas touch when it comes to the endorsement of books and products, some of her latest picks have attracted criticism from longtime fans as she has strayed into new-age spiritualism and, perhaps more dangerously, politics. 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.

Rule number one for talk shows: you can't shape the opinions and interests of your audience, you follow them.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 27, 2008 12:00 AM

Does that hold true for blogs?

Posted by: Gregory the Great at May 27, 2008 12:43 PM

It's why the blogosphere is an echo chamber and why readers react with horror to disonnance.

Posted by: oj at May 27, 2008 12:55 PM

Ah - dissonance. We love it.

There are a few places where the echoes don't reverberate (undeflected). This is one of them. And we appreciate it, even though we cringe sometimes.

Posted by: jim hamlen at May 28, 2008 7:29 AM