Oprah Winfrey has more to worry about these days than just her flailing TV network.
The former talk show queen’s self-named magazine is also suffering a significant sales drop, according to The New York Post:
Newsstand sales plunged to 413,363 copies — down 32 percent from the same period a year ago, when she was selling 608,212 copies.
Winfrey’s last syndicated talk show aired in May 2011, so while there has been some softness for the past two years, this marked the first six-month stretch with no broadcast TV exposure at all. The magazine’s total circulation was also down by 5 percent, to 2,380,782.
Combine that with the dismal ratings for OWN, Winfrey’s upstart network, and you have a picture of a media titan in trouble.
Winfrey voluntarily left her talk show perch last year, and not having a daily broadcast platform clearly doesn’t help her brand. But she left her show near the peak of her ratings powers and hasn’t committed any obvious public gaffes since then. No embarrassing TMZ videos, wardrobe malfunctions or inconvenient canoodlings.
That leaves Winfrey’s unwavering support for President Barack Obama, something that may have permanently changed the way the American people view her.
Sure, Obama-files probably love Winfrey even more for her stand. But other Americans, particularly those caught in the maelstrom of the president’s sluggish economic recovery, might not wish to be reminded of the Winfrey-Obama connection via her network or magazine.
Or, perhaps it’s time for Winfrey to step down as her magazine’s cover girl on every issue and give some new faces a chance.