Did Oprah’s Endorsement Of Obama End Her Media Empire?

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During the 2008 elections one of President Obama’s most ardent and high-profile celebrity backers was Oprah Winfrey who, at the time, was an entire media industry unto herself. Her daytime talk show was iconic. She could make or break the success of products from books to movies to household cleaners with her endorsement, or lack thereof.

Since that endorsement, Oraph ended her daytime talk show (amid sagging viewership numbers) ostensibly to focus on her own television network OWN (the Oprah Winfrey Network). Except, that’s not exactly going well. According to the New York Post, OWN may have lost as much as $330 million:

The losses at Oprah Winfrey’s stumbling cable channel are approaching a staggering $330 million, according to a report over the weekend.

And now industry insiders are predicting the Oprah Winfrey Network will not be able to survive another year if it does not find a hit show and make a dramatic turnaround.

Discovery, which partnered 50-50 with Winfrey to launch the network and has been underwriting its costs, has invested nearly $600 million in it since 2008, according to an extensive report in Businessweek magazine.

But since it started on the air in January 2011, “OWN may have lost as much as $330 million,” the magazine reports.

Meanwhile, Winfrey says she won’t be endorsing Obama publicly in 2012:

When talk show queen Oprah Winfrey announced she was publicly supporting Barack Obama for president back in 2008, she shocked many TV insiders who had always thought it best for talk show hosts to keep their political views to themselves.

Now as the 2012 election process has officially begun, sources tell me this time around Oprah’s support will be much more private.

“For 2012, much has changed for Oprah. She now has own cable channel called OWN that has been struggling to find an audience — she isn’t going to do anything to alienate them,” a TV insider tells me. “Unlike in 2008, when a drop in ratings didn’t matter as much for the queen of TV, Oprah is now fighting every day to get people to tune into OWN.”

Change we can believe in.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • Davoarid

    “After this, therefore because of this.”

    • ec99

      Are you implying a logical fallacy?  Well, you’re probably right. 

  • Camsaure

    I wonder if Obuma will declare Orca Winfrey “to big to fail”, than demand us taxpayers bail her out.

  • Wayne

     “You play, you pay.”

  • Vugg

    hard to find many things to laugh at when you wake up at 3.30 am, but dang it Camsaure, i almost blew coffee when i read your comment.   don’ care you ya are, now that’s funny !   but kinda scary too because i wouldn’t be surprised if the Anointed One finds a way to make us pay for it.

  • mickey_moussaoui

    I never watched one of her shows and now I suppose I’ll never get that chance. Oh darn.

    • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

      Have you ever watched a show with blacks as the main positive role models or characters where they are not presented as subservient, or as drug dealers?  I doubt it.

      • Gern Blanston

        sleezy race-baiter.

        • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

          Why not let him answer?

          • http://proof-proofpositive.blogspot.com/ Proof

            Because you offered nothing but sleazy race baiting. Go presoak your damp, yellow stained “boardies”, Tiny Fruitcake. Maybe the stains won’t set?

      • Awfulorv

        I recall any number of them, start with the Cosby show, and there were many others. Also it seems to me TV bent over backwards to present blacks as, and undeserving, if you ask me, normal white families would be portrayed. They all had prestigious occupations it seems, Judges, CEOs, lead detectives, police chiefs, etc. And all adopted black kids were the sharpest little buggers on the block. One could, and will, say that those deceitful TV shows, including the phony black is good, white is bad, old is stupid, ” All in the family ” have given a distorted view of reality to many  generations of those who were force fed the crap by our erstwhile friends, the Hollywood perverts.

        • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

          And all adopted black kids were the sharpest little buggers on the
          block. One could, and will, say that those deceitful TV shows, including
          the phony black is good, white is bad, old is stupid, ” All in the
          family ” have given a distorted view of reality…

          One could, few do,but those are racists, mostly.

          • Awfulorv

            Thank you!  thank you!  thank you!  I made a bet with another, on this blog, that you, you pasty faced bag of pus, would use racist thirty one times in a day.  Here it is mid afternoon and you’ve caused me to win my not inconsiderable bet. So thanks again, you miserable sophomoric asshole.

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            So you think by going around acting like a racist, saying racist like things, in an effort to get people to call you out on it reflects badly on them?

            Jesus you are  a fucking dunce.

      • Awfulorv

        My remote occasionally passes  by the “View”, and I chance to see something very dark in the left hand corner. It moves, and makes noises, so it can’t be a leftover, horror doll,  from Sesame street, as I’d first thought.  I will, emphatically, say that it is the ugliest creature ever to be allowed on the small screen.   It is not human, I’m quite sure, though it appears the others do pay some attention to it, whenever it rustles around.  What it is though, is beyond me.  Perhaps you, who worship all things of dark colors, could explain to us what it is.

      • Awfulorv

        Holy Mackerel Hanni, get on over here and defend  Academy Award Given to Her Because She Played a Sympathetic Black role, Whoopi Goldberg. We can’t let this go on, next he’ll be disparaging a Chinese, or Japanese, Academy award winner, or even a Mexican…What.. say it’s not so,you mean to tell me  there have been no awards for them? Well that seems very odd, on the surface.  Hattie McDanield ,over Katy Jurado, huh? I would have thought otherwise. Man this fawning  thing has been going on for a long time, hasn’t it?

  • SigFan

    Personally I never could figure out why everyone was so enamored of her to begin with.  But, the public does like it’s celebrities – even those as shallow as Oprah and Rosie and the shrews on The View.  Maybe after Obama goes down in flames in November we’ll finally be rid of the lot of them – if we are lucky.

    • Awfulorv

      One thing we know. With the state of the newspaper business these days, it’s unlikely another Helen Thomas, anti-Semetic bitch that she was, will come forth, perhaps from the View,  to spew shit on all areas of common sense.

      • Awfulorv

        thats throw or, better yet fling. Spew is from the mouth, and I doubt…well ya never know, do ye?

  • Onslaught1066

    You notice, do you not, That whether her out spoken endorsement of Obama directly correlates with the end of her network show and impending demise of her cable channel or not, she thinks it does, hence her decision to not openly endorse Dumb-O this time around.

    It is also telling that her answer to the perceived harm endorsing Dumb-O has done to her empire is not to denounce, but secretly support the (in her perception) person responsible for her downfall.

    As a very wise philosopher once profoundly observed, “Failure is a resume’ enhancement for liberal democrats.”

  • sbark

    Be interesting to know if she was at the 40,000.00 per plate Clooney fundraiser for Obama last nite………

    • Bat One

      Don’t be silly!  She’d give up a week at the Phat Pharm for the chance to schmooze with Obama.

    • Awfulorv

      I’ll lay you odds of 1-10 she was, and I’ll bet the words Television bailout were heard for one of the first times. Too bad she’s not a corporation, no one gets hurt when they go under, cause they’re not comprised of people.

  • Awfulorv

    Not to worry about the fat assed racist, and book reviewer.   Discovery, either the card, or the channel, or both, are the losers here . And since they’re corporations, not people, no ones getting hurt financially.  Or some such stupid, liberal, bullshit.

  • Gern Blanston

    I don’t understand. How could NOT supporting Obama help her ratings? Everyone loves Obama. She need to be MORE vocal in her suport. Clearly.
    (are there ACTUALLY Oprah fans who say to themselves, ‘I love her shows and her reviews, but ever since she went political, I just can’t watch anymore – even though I think she’s spot-on in her political views’).

  • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

    Oprah made the  mistake of refusing to believe that half the nation was still a bunch of drooling Neanderthals. 

    • Gern Blanston

      Good one. Now quick, get back to your classroom before the recess bell rings and you get yourself in trouble.

      • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

        It happens to be the truth.  Do you know of any other major media figure whose decision to support a candidate was viewed as hostility to their customer base?

        Or are you simply trying to ignore this obvious fact by saying patently idiotic things in an effort to make yourself laugh?

        • Wayne

          The only obvious fact is that there are a lot of people who don’t like Obamao’s policies and the way he operates.  That’s all, Hater.

          • Hannitized, Proofs obsession

            That doesn’t really answer the question though, does it? 

            It’s obvious Obama was hated from teh moment he ran, but the hatred was there before he instituted any policies.

          • Onslaught1066

            That’s because, despite his efforts to hide his past, (college transcripts, birth certificate, ect.) the guy was an open little red book, a walking communist manifesto, a Qur’an for all seasons, and he didn’t exactly try to hide his anti-America leanings.

            Only lefturd retards such as yourself either turned a blind eye to, or simply didn’t care, what kind of a third world hell hole he was willing and prepared to make of this country.

            Now toddle back off to Ellin-A$$’s basement Rump-us room and quit bothering the adults on this blog.

          • Hanni

            Ha ha ha! You are a comical joke not just a comic avatar that’s used to solicit little boys.

          • Gern Blanston

            Wrong. The ‘hate’ as you call it was there precisely because of his policies, as well as the support he had given to various other policies.

          • Spartacus

             Obviously ObamAA+ didn’t have a record as a junior senator from Illinois or anything.

          • Camsaure

            Exactly, I an “equal opportunity” when it comes to disliking marxists who are trying to destroy our country.

        • Gern Blanston

          Lessee: Name a major media figure who had kept their political affiliations at least somewhat obscured, then ‘came out’ for a specific politician through endorsements and guest spots by that politician on their show.

    • Spartacus

       My. You really are butthurt over the 42% in West Virginia. Aren’t you?

  • KrackerX

    She’s the victim of a bad business decision.

  • Asdf

    Did Oprah’s Endorsement of Obama Hurt Alex Rodriguez’s Baseball Skills?

    He hasn’t won an MVP since Obama was elected President.

  • VocalYokel

    I have no problem with talk show hosts, celebrities, or what seems to be an ever increasing population of people who are famous for being infamous using their 15 minutes to espouse political views.

    But as a wise man (my Dad) once counseled me…”If you wanna dance, you gotta pay the band.”

    Just ask The Dixie Chicks.

  • Lianne

    I believe that her viewers and followers, most of them liberal women, were more upset with her  dumping the hopeful female candidate for presidency Hillary; not that she switched her support to Obama. 
    Anyone who thought or thinks Oprah is NOT racist is fooling themselves. But, she lost the liberal women support and they are the ones who loved her show. 

  • mikemc1970

    Of course not, she failed because she was narcissistic enough to believe her one hour a day of lesbianesque psuedo-psychobabble could translate into twenty four hours a day. I bet Dr. Phil is happy as a puppy with two peters that he didn’t follow down her mediocre media toilet.

  • Guest

    Clearly, Oprah is a racist, just ask Hillary Clinton.

  • http://www.facebook.com/deb.stein.965 Deb Stein

    Wow, sure are a lot of haters in here. You have to have respect for someone that came up from her background and made it in a male-dominated business as a not too attractive black female. I mean c-MON! And her intent was, at least at first, to help others. She was the first to do some things on the air. I liked at her for awhile, but yeah then ego took over. How could it not? Imagine being told that because of YOU, people are getting their businesses made into overnight successes, and that in the last 60 seconds, you made $3,000. That’s heady stuff. So yeah, it got inlfated. On the way though, she did bring awareness to some things that needed that. And sometimes she had great guests. Other than that, too bad really. I really would hate to see someone that has truly done so much in the interest of helping others crash and burn. No one is all light or all dark, but she used her position for what she believed in and what she thought be benefit others.

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