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Oprah is pondering some big changes -- but it's not the first time

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Oprah-Winfrey_l

Oprah-Winfrey_lWhere will we get our Oprah fix after 2011? The latest news from her production company Harpo is that Winfrey is still deciding what she’ll do when current syndication deal with CBS expires in mid-2011. Will she re-up or move her talk show to her own LA-based network OWN? One thing to remember: In the eons since Winfrey first signed her syndication deal with King World (way back in 1986), this is not the first time she’s considered walking away from her network talk show.

In 1997, King World saw its stock drop after reports that Winfrey was thinking about quitting. She eventually signed an extension through 2000 (and, big sigh, the stock recovered.) In 2002, Winfrey put out word she planned to retire from the talk show in 2006, only to extend her syndication deal through 2011 a couple years later. And in 2005, Winfrey set a new potential retirement date: 2011. (This time around, Winfrey has promised she’ll announce her intentions by the end of the year.) Is Oprah conflicted about her future in the talk show world? Or is she just a master negotiator when it comes to new contracts? Will you follow Winfrey if she moves to OWN?

Photo Credit: Armando Gallo/Retna Ltd