Looking for someone to replace Oprah

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New York, Nov.23 (ANI): A number of names are doing the rounds for a replacement for Oprah Winfrey, when she decides to quit her show in 2011.

As Oprah prepares to leave the broadcast airwaves in two years, a stable of talk shows are in competition to fill her time slot on more than 200 stations across the country.

The American television chess board is being rearranged by a talk show host. Oprah's departure could affect the ratings for the network evening newscasts, reports the New York Times.

TV executives were jostling on behalf of Ellen DeGeneres, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Phil McGraw and other hosts who aim to benefit from the syndication shake-up.

Analysts say that Ms. DeGeneres and Dr. Oz, in particular, stand to gain, because their deals with stations will come up for renewal at the same time that Winfrey intends to depart.

Aspiring hosts could emerge as well.

Winfrey comes out a winner in syndication. Already, she has groomed another decade's worth of new talk show hosts. She ordained McGraw in 2002. She followed up with "Rachael Ray" in 2006 and "The Dr. Oz Show" this fall.

Already, executives at Ms. Winfrey's distributor, CBS, and at its competitors are thinking about how to fill the Oprah void - and how to capture new market share when she exits.

Winfrey, whose program has averaged 6.8 million viewers this season, guides many of those viewers to the station's local newscasts.

Analysts say the prospect of lower license fees in the future contributed to Ms. Winfrey's decision to move to cable. (Her production company, Harpo, is a co-owner in OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, which is expected to make its debut in January 2011. After "The Oprah Winfrey Show" ends in September of that year, she will "participate in new programming" for OWN, Harpo said in a statement on Friday.) (ANI)

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