12:30 20 November 2009
'The Oprah Winfrey Show' will end in September 2011 after 25 years on the air, the production company behind the programme has announced.
Billionaire Winfrey has hosted the show since 1986, which allowed her to become one of the most influential women in America.
A spokesman for the star's Harpo production company would not say why Winfrey had decided to quit, but said she would discuss the matter on an upcoming show.
Winfrey is expected to be shifting her considerable media outlook to focus instead on the launch of her own TV channel.
Tim Bennett, president of Winfrey's Harpo production company, wrote: "The sun will set on the Oprah show as its 25th season draws to a close on 9 September 2011."
'The Oprah Winfrey Show' interviewed countless famous celebrities and is currently syndicated in 145 countries.
The programme is heralded as redefining the talk show genre with its frank discussions, making Winfrey the wealthiest black woman in the world.
The introduction of Oprah's Book Club paved the way for struggling authors. The majority of the books that she recommends become international bestsellers.
Furthermore, Winfrey's support for US President Barack Obama was seen as crucial to his presidential election campaign.
Winfrey's empire also includes a radio station, magazine, books and, from 2011, a cable TV network.
The chatshow host also tried her hand at acting - her debut role was in Steven Spielberg's 1985 adaptation of 'The Color Purple' for which she received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) is a joint venture between Winfrey and Discovery Communications. It will replace the Discovery Health Channel in more than 70 million US homes.
'Oprah' remains as the highest-rated US talk show with an average seven million daily viewers. It first aired in 1986 and has run for 24 seasons so far.
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