Oprah Winfrey ending print edition of ‘O’ magazine after 2 decades

Two decades ago, media mogul and veteran talk show host Oprah Winfrey founded a magazine titled simply, O, and it has just been revealed that publication of its monthly print edition is coming to an end, according to the Washington Post.

Former Fox News reporter Roger Friedman also wrote about the development this weekend in Sunday’s edition of Showbiz 411, calling it “a surprise.”

According to Friedman “the magazine has been considered a success in Hearst’s shaky empire of publications that include Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Harpers Bazaar, and Marie Claire,” nothing that “O has a reported average paid circulation of 2.2 million copies and a 10 million print audience.”

Hearst is a large conglomerate known for owning magazines, television stations, as well as transportation and medical technology businesses.

Publisher in turmoil

However, Friedman also wrote of the magazine’s publisher that “Hearst is in a huge crisis since the ousting this week of CEO Troy Young after a New York Times story exposed his extreme bad behavior.”

In Friedman’s words, “Young and his cohort, chief content officer Kate Lewis, came from the digital side of the business, took over the magazines, and began destroying them.”

According to The New York Times, Young resigned last week following allegations that he oversaw a toxic culture at Hearst that included emailing pornography to staff members.

Despite initially downplaying the allegations, Young later released a statement in which he apologized for incidents that were “particularly offensive to women.”

Tipping point unclear

Friedman declared that it was unclear “if Oprah herself pulled the plug, or Hearst did it for her,” but he poined out that “if Oprah — who’s appeared on every cover — wanted to continue the print magazine she could publish it or herself or move it to a different publisher,” adding:

But the headaches of continuing may be something she’s simply not interested in anymore. She’s 66 years old, and concentrating on her [television] Network.”

Winfrey rose from a life of poverty in rural Mississippi to become one of the wealthiest women in the world, with Forbes magazine estimating her net worth at $2.6 billion as of July of this year.

Some have speculated that the popular motivational speaker and philanthropist could be eyeing future in politics, although she has consistently denied that she has any ambition to seek public office, according to CNBC.

Whether the closing of this particular chapter leads to a whole new kind of endeavor for Winfrey, only time will tell.

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