You know, Oprah’s not leaving us for two years, folks. Let’s get a grip. We are still in November 2009. She’s not shutting down her show until June or September 2011.

Meanwhile, Oprah’s rep Don Halcombe and I have been in touch. He says rumors of Winfrey abandoning Chicago are completely wrong.

Halcombe says in response to Nikki Finke’s frantic cry that Winfrey is leaving Chi-town because it’s too cold: “We are ending the show, but not shutting our doors.’ In addition to the show, Harpo has other divisions headquartered here as well: Harpo Radio, Oprah.com, The Oprah Store, the charitable foundations like Oprah’s Angel Network, our development group which created and launched ‘The Dr. Oz Show’ amongst other projects.’ It’s our intention to have a full slate of programs in production at our studios in Chicago.”

Halcombe continues: “She loves Chicago and has been very proud to call Chicago her home these last 24 years. ‘Certainly, she will reside here during the final season of her show.”

Yes, but wait: next year is just 2010. Oprah’s not leaving next June. She’s leaving a whole year later, unless Winfrey’s gang has miscalculated. She will be on the air with new shows for the next six to seven months, then take the summer off, return in September with nine more months of shows at least. That’s a lot! We can all adjust in that time. That is a long goodbye, kids! So let’s relax.

And frankly, this was a story that was known a year ago. I cannot figure out why it’s being treated now like a doomsday scenario. Are memories this short?

Author
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. He wrote the Intelligencer column for NY Magazine in the mid 90s, reporting on the OJ Simpson trial, as well as for the real Parade magazine (when it was owned by Conde Nast), and has written for the New York Observer, Details, Vogue, Spin, the New York Times, NY Post, Washington Post, and NY Daily News among many publications. He is the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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