Jan Scruggs
Memorial founder

Jan Scruggs

Founder and president of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.

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A long wait ...

Q: Why has Oprah Winfrey been so successful as a TV talk-show host? Does it make sense for her to end her syndicated talk show in 2011 when she's still dominating the daytime ratings? Can you imagine anyone replicating the following she's been able to build?

Part of Oprah's success is that she is engaging and pleasant. She can be confrontational without being obnoxious. She gets her guests talking and explores their issues without necessarily being judgmental. Yet, the phenomenon of Oprah goes beyond being a good interviewer. Phil Donahue and so many others over the years have possessed the same basic skill set of charm, knowing their audience and getting guests to "spill their guts."

Part of Oprah's success is her entrepreneurial skill. For her talk show, she hired a good producer and others to work on the show, she booked interesting guests and she talked about the hot topics of the day -- just like everyone else does. She just does it so much better!

Part of her success is her ability to get in front of the next new trend. Look at what she has done to establish her media empire. Instead of being content with her television success, she branched into publishing and satellite radio. Now, her success is worldwide, and she has a huge international audience.

I think, though, that her success is a combination of talent, personality, risk-taking and just plain being in the right place at the right time.

Can anyone replicate what she has been able to build? Somehow, I think it is going to be a long wait for another Oprah!

By Jan Scruggs  |  November 30, 2009; 3:31 PM ET  | Category:  Oprah's success Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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