Poll Results: Who Will Take Oprah’s Daytime TV Crown? - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue


Oprah Winfrey announced on her show Nov. 20 that she will end her 25-year daytime television run.

When BlackEnterprise.com readers were given the choice between Ellen DeGeneres, Tyra Banks, and Wendy Williams, to replace Oprah Winfrey as queen of daytime television, a majority of respondents to a recent poll chose none of the above.

Upon Winfrey’s announcement that on Sept. 9, 2011 she would endThe Oprah Winfrey Show” after its 25th season, 52% of respondents said none of the listed contenders was her heir apparent.

“The Oprah Winfrey Show” is produced by Harpo Productions Inc. (No. 14 on the BE Industrial/Service list with  $340 million in assets), which was the BE 100s Company of the Year in 2008.

“Even before Oprah announced that she will be ending her talk show there has long been speculation about who could possibly steal the ‘queen’s’ crown,” says Robin Coleman, a professor of media studies and popular culture at the University of Michigan. “Rolanda Watts, Tempestt Bledsoe, Mother Love, Wendy Williams, Tyra Banks…all have tried.  But just as there is only one King of Pop, Queen of Soul, and Godfather of Soul, there will be only one Oprah.”

Becoming successor to Winfrey means a lot more than taking over the national time slots that she has filled since 1986. Her popularity drives consumer and political opinion. Winfrey’s endorsements have been known to increase or decrease sales of products overnight; and her endorsement of then-Sen. Barack Obama’s  run for president gave him a huge boost in the Iowa primary.

Tyra Banks, who has run her eponymously named Emmy award-winning show since 2005, pulled in 28% of the vote. But a host’s popularity doesn’t necessarily translate to influence, says Coleman. Also, viewers are looking for a daytime host who is “a little more of the people,” says Tracy Christian, a Hollywood talent agent.

“Unquestionably, Tyra has been grooming herself as the younger, hipper Oprah, but…Oprah has always been your best friend who you were never in competition with,”  says Christian. “Despite Tyra’s efforts, I think many women are still awed by her beauty.”

Christian says that talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, who received 17% of BE voters’ confidence “can do no wrong.” DeGeneres has been a guest on Winfrey’s show and appears on the December cover of  O Magazine.

Newcomer Wendy Williams siphoned off the remaining 3% of responses.

Although Winfrey’s stretch on network television is soon to end, don’t count her out just yet, says Coleman. Winfrey,has big plans for OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network, a 24-hour cable network that reflects her values and interests.
In other words, the next queen of daytime television just might be “Oprah” repackaged.

POLL: Who should replace Oprah Winfrey as the queen of daytime TV?
None of the above 52%
Tyra Banks 28%
Ellen DeGeneres 17%
Wendy Williams 3%


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Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, SocialWayne.com chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining BlackEnterprise.com as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and BlackEnterprise.com helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.

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