There is no one else in the world with the power and credibility to cause such radical market swings and consumer price changes. Oprah Winfrey is the one person who by simply speaking the name of a product in print or on air has that very effect. And actually, the term “Oprah Effect” has been given to the guaranteed increase of sales that that occurs when a book is selected for her revered Oprah’s Book Club.
CNN, Time, and Life have all said that Winfrey is arguably the most popular and influential woman in the world. Life and USA Today deem her the most influential black person…not black woman, but black person…of her generation, and President Obama agrees.
To have such an impact is undeniably astounding. Although she starred in Steven Spielberg’s The Color Purple in 1985, Winfrey’s rise to the media mogul master she is today began most notably with the launch of her hour-long, nationally syndicated talk-how, The Oprah Winfrey Show, in 1986. Viewers and critics were shocked when Winfrey outshined the previously most popular tabloid talk show hosted by Phil Donahue. The public was instantly drawn in to Winfrey’s layman’s curiosity, sense of humor and above all, her empathy.
In the 90’s, Winfrey switched up the style of her show and began focusing less on tabloids and more on relevant issues including politics, spirituality, women’s health, gifting and home décor. She talked to celebs about charity work, health issues, substance abuse or any issues that were important to them, instead of the usual gossip-talk. Winfrey’s show also gave a voice to normal folks doing extraordinary things.
Hinging from her ridiculously successful talk show, Winfrey now publishes O, The Oprah Magazine and she’s co-authored five books. Oprah.com boasts more than 70 million page views, more than six million users per month, and about 20,000 emails each week. Winfrey also has her own XM Radio show, Oprah Radio. And along with such major accomplishments, this is a woman who is dedicated to charity work in the highest, most hands-on form.
On deck for Winfrey is her narration of Discovery Channel’s upcoming documentary series, Life, which airs this month. With her project No Phone Zone, she is campaigning something fierce to raise awareness for how dangerous it is to drive while texting, emailing, etc. Whether we love her, hate her, or only pay attention to her weight gains and losses, her complete takeover in the world of media deserves an LLady high-five any day.