With her TV show’s audience size down 7% year-over-year is Oprah Winfrey’s empire in decline?
And if so, is it because she endorsed Barack Obama for President?
University of Colorado professor Janice Peck, author of the Age of Oprah, says maybe to both questions.
She gave AP writer David Bauder 5 reasons why Oprah’s numbers could be declining:
- “By endorsing Barack Obama and campaigning for him, she shucked her apolitical image.”
- Viewers have far more choices during the daytime now, and it’s hurting everyone’s ratings.
- She angered conservative viewers again when she endorsing Eckhart Tolle’s New Age religion book A New Earth.
- Oprah’s message of limitless possibilities might not resonate with viewers while the economy is in the tank.
- Young people prefer Ellen Degeneres or Tyra Banks.
Of course, Oprah’s words still carry incredible influence across multiple industries. CNBC illustrated that nicely with their mega-story, “The Oprah Effect.” Some telling tidbits from their slideshow going by the same name:
Oprah sell spandex: “In 2000, Oprah chose Spanx shape wear as one of her “favourite Things.” The Atlanta-based clothing company quickly sold 50 thousand products in just three months. The company has helped millions of women feel a size smaller and made $350 million in retail sales along the way.”
Oprah sells popcorn: “In 2002 and 2005, Oprah selected Garrett Popcorn as one of her favourite things. The Chicago based company had a hunch there would be a rise in sales – but not to the extent that occurred. The afternoon of the broadcast in 2002, the company had 100,000 web hits and the sales for the month of December increased by 100 per cent. Garrett Popcorn went from making popcorn eight hours a day to 24 hours a day.”
Oprah sells Amazon Kindles: “One of the most recent and dramatic examples of the Oprah Effect is with Kindle, a wireless reading device launched by Amazon.com. Oprah introduced the Kindle on her show on October 24, 2008 and offered a special discount code for Oprah viewers to receive $50 off of their purchase. Sales went through the roof and Kindle sold out of inventory during the 2008 holiday season.”