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Oprah Winfrey signs new contract

May 30, 2003


Oprah Winfrey, the most successful talk show host and producer in the history of television, has renewed with King World Productions to continue her multi award-winning, #1-rated series, The Oprah Winfrey Show, through the 2007-2008 television season. The announcement was made jointly today by Harpo Productions, Inc., the producer of The Oprah Winfrey Show, and by Roger King, CEO, CBS Enterprises and King World Productions, which distributes the series.

In addition, the series has already been renewed on the key ABC O&O incumbents, comprising WABC (New York), KABC (Los Angeles), WLS (Chicago), WPVI (Philadelphia), KGO (San Francisco), WTVD (Raleigh-Durham) and KFSN (Fresno), through the 2007-2008 season.

The series will produce 145 original episodes for each of the 2002-2003 and 2003-2004 seasons. Under the new deal, 130 original episodes will be produced for each of the four seasons thereafter.

This season, the series has shown great growth, exhibiting its youngest audience composition in five years and year-to-year gains in all key female demos. For the latest completed sweeps period, February 2003, the series garnered its highest February ratings in six years.*

“It’s fulfilling being able to do this kind of television,“ said Oprah, “and I believe continuing to have a voice and a platform to speak to the world is still the right thing to do.”

“We are incredibly proud to be associated with The Oprah Winfrey Show, and are looking forward to our continued relationship with Oprah and her fabulous team at Harpo,” said Mr. King. “It’s truly to Oprah’s credit that, after 17 seasons at #1, the series not only maintains a staunchly loyal audience, but also continues to find new audiences and perform better than ever. Oprah has a tremendous commitment to producing the finest daytime series in history, and we are thrilled to bring audiences more Oprah for years to come.”

The most-successful, highest-rated talk show in global television history, The Oprah Winfrey Show enters its 18th season in September 2003. A perennial ratings powerhouse, the series has ranked #1 among all talk shows for the past 17 seasons and the last 66 consecutive sweep periods.

The Oprah Winfrey Show is currently broadcast on 211 stations throughout the United States, representing more than 99% of the country. In addition, the series is distributed to 105 countries worldwide by CBS Broadcast International, a division of CBS Enterprises. The longest-running and widest-reaching talk show in the world, The Oprah Winfrey Show airs in such countries as the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden, The Netherlands, Canada and throughout Asia and Africa.

Since the 1986 national premiere of The Oprah Winfrey Show, Oprah has been recognized with hundreds of professional, educational and civic honors. The Oprah Winfrey Show has received 38 Daytime Emmy Awards, including nine Emmys for “Outstanding Talk Show” and seven Emmys for “Outstanding Talk Show Host.” Her other honors include the George Foster Peabody Individual Achievement Award (1996), the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ Lifetime Achievement Award (1998), the National Book Foundation’s 50th Anniversary Gold Medal (1999) and the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ Bob Hope Humanitarian Award (2002). In addition, in 2002, she was inducted into the “Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame.”

King World Productions, Inc., a division of CBS Enterprises, ranks among the premier production and distribution companies in domestic television syndication. Its products include such landmark first-run programs as Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!, the two highest-rated series in syndication, and daytime’s #1 and #2 talk series, The Oprah Winfrey Show and Dr. Phil, as well as Hollywood Squares, Inside Edition, Martha Stewart Living, Bob Vila’s Home Again and CBS MarketWatch Weekend. In Fall 2003, it will launch the new, daytime entertainment series, Living it Up! with Ali & Jack. Additionally, King World distributes the hit CBS network series, Everybody Loves Raymond , CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and CSI: Miami.

The Oprah Winfrey Show is produced at Harpo Studios in Chicago.