Oprah Winfrey and Network TV | Free Essay Example

Oprah Winfrey and Network TV

Words: 932
Topic: Entertainment & Media


Modern technology has enabled people to communicate effectively and this aspect has revolutionized how they conduct their daily activities. The entertainment industry has benefited from improved technology and television stations have earned public recognition through their programs.

Media personalities have advanced their careers and this move has created room for them to expand their coverage and improve the quality and reputation of their employers. Oprah G. Winfrey is a famous personality in the media industry due to her contributions that revolutionized talk shows and introduced a new dimension in TV entertainment. This paper explores how Winfrey changed network TV.


Oprah Winfrey was born in 1956 in Mississippi and she spent most of her early life with her poor grandmother (Oprah, 2014). Later, she moved and stayed with her mother who had little time for her, as she was a housemaid. Her teenage life was full of abuses from her close family members and friends (Oprah, 2014). Poverty frustrated her early life, but this aspect did not deter her from identifying her talent in the media industry. She joined her school’s speech club and participated in several beauty pageants where she won most of them.

Her admission into the Tennessee State University to study communication introduced her to a new life of media practices. She used this opportunity to cultivate her talent in public speaking, which later landed her at WLS-TV station, hence the opportunity to air its morning shows (Oprah, 2014). She introduced The Oprah Winfrey Talk Show in 1986 and opened her own television house after two and a half decades. Today, she is a famous media personality with a net worth of 2.9 billion US dollars (Forbes, 2014).

TV Network Transformation

Westernization influenced individuals to follow lifestyles that portrayed the states of their financial positions and this aspect means that some things could not miss from their homes. First, television sets became necessities in homes, and thus every family had to have this electronic device for entertainment, news, and education. The need to be informed about modern affairs influenced people to watch their televisions on a daily basis, especially during prime times.

However, media houses realized that the attention of viewers was glued to their televisions during news anchoring time. Therefore, they had to introduce programs that would ensure that people remained glued to their television sets throughout the day and night. This move led to the introduction of soap operas that filled all local and international channels. People became very interested in these programs that they started identifying with some of the themes and personalities portrayed by actors.

Oprah took advantage of the fact that most soap operas had themes that expressed different issues about sex, poverty, human rights abuse, and women emancipation. She had experienced most of these tribulations, and thus her confession about her past life was not a surprise to her. In addition, she started airing The Oprah Winfrey Talk Show in 1986 and it initially discussed issues concerning marriage, poverty, and education (Oprah, 2014).

She was very reluctant to introduce sex discussions in this show due to the conservative nature of the audience that existed at the time, but she later introduced these topics during the day (Osborne, 2011). In addition, media houses were still considered as family entertainment forums, and thus some issues could not be discussed in the presence of children. Lastly, media houses had not shed their traditional beliefs and there were policies that regulated their contents.

Therefore, it was not time for her to start discussing sex on a national broadcaster. However, she started realizing that people were interested in her programs. She was getting many invitations for interviews and this aspect enabled her to open her eyes wider. She was reluctant to follow her heart, but the requests she received from her audiences motivated her to launch her show that addressed all issues that affected people in society.

She started inviting celebrities and interviewing them. This move enabled her audiences to understand their celebrities. These interviews overcame taboos as she talked about issues to do with personal sexual abuse, racism, and personal secrets, which opened up the American society to discuss these issues in the open (Clifford, 2011).

Secondly, she started focusing on reconciling couples and ensuring that forgiveness played important roles in healing members that experienced strained relationships. The meanings of love and compassion have been transformed by this show as she invites counselors to guide victims that have experienced frustrations in their relationships.

She has played major roles in ensuring that television shows introduce confession and reconciliation programs that help people to overcome their past predicaments. In addition, she allowed people to share their experiences especially on rocky childhood experiences coupled with how they managed to overcome such challenges (Edwards 2011)

Thirdly, she introduced educational programs, which ensured that her audiences understand various issues. She has aired various shows that feature nutrition, diseases, education, agriculture, and animal husbandry among others. This aspect has enabled her audience to perceive these issues properly and eliminate misunderstanding. Therefore, this move has increased the traffic to her shows and ensured that she develops quality and appropriate programs to improve the credibility of her shows.


Oprah Winfrey is a famous personality in the TV industry and her prowess enabled her to start the show, The Oprah Winfrey Talk Show in 1986. She has a website, which ensures that she keeps in touch with her fans coupled with promoting her programs. Modern television talk shows derive their origins from Oprah Winfrey and her efforts to revolutionize this industry cannot be underestimated.


Clifford, M. (2011). How Oprah has changed the way we live. Web.

Edwards, A. (2011). How Oprah Changed Television. Web.

Forbes: The World’s Billionaires- #600 Oprah Winfrey. (2014). Web.

Oprah: Oprah Winfrey’s Official Biography. (2014). Web.

Osborne, D. (2011). How Will Television Be Changed Without Oprah On It. Web.