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Oprah Signs Through 2005-2006

March 13, 2002

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CHICAGO (AP) _ The queen of talk shows will keep on chatting for another four years.

King World Productions, which distributes ``The Oprah Winfrey Show,″ confirmed Tuesday that Winfrey has extended her contract through the 2005-06 season.

``Oprah has agreed to continue her show for an additional two seasons, which would give her 20,″ spokesman Arthur Sando said.

The Hollywood Reporter, which reported the contract extension on Monday, also said Winfrey intends the 20th season to be her last.

A spokeswoman for Harpo Inc., Winfrey’s production company, confirmed that intention but declined to be named. Sando declined to address it, saying such an announcement should come from Harpo.

Winfrey, 48, has previously talked of retiring. Her program began in 1986 and is the top-rated syndicated program on television. The hour-long show reportedly generates about $300 million a year for King World Productions, the Viacom Inc. unit that distributes it. The show attracts an average of 26 million viewers a week.

Winfrey’s other ventures include ``O, The Oprah Magazine″ and the ``Oprah Winfrey Presents″ series of made-for-television movies.

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On the Net:

`The Oprah Winfrey Show’ Web site: http://www.oprah.com/

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