Oprah Winfrey, the reigning queen of daytime talk, announced yesterday that she will retire her #1 talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, in 2006. In the meantime, she will continue to host one of the only talk shows on television urging women’s self-empowerment. The Oprah Winfrey Show has consistently taken on hard-hitting women’s issues, such as gender apartheid in Afghanistan and female genital mutilation. Winfrey, herself, has been a forerunner in women’s issues having appeared on ABC’s Ellen for the “coming out” episode and performed in Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues. Winfrey has also distinguished herself through her philanthropy and through her work on behalf of children. In 1991, Winfrey testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on behalf of the National Child Protection Act that established a national registry of convicted child abusers.
Winfrey began her career in broadcasting at TV affiliates in Nashville, TN and Baltimore, MD before moving to Chicago to host the morning talk show AM Chicago, the precursor to The Oprah Winfrey Show. Winfrey has hosted the show since 1985 and is considered to be one of the most powerful media icons in the United States.