Oprah’s ‘Influence’ Diminishes as She’s Excluded from Time List

Oprah Winfrey (Photo: Getty Images)

Is Oprah Winfrey losing her influence?

Time magazine evidently thinks so: She was excluded from the mag’s annual list of “The 100 Most Influential People in the World” for the first time since 1999.

That happens to be the year Time started compiling this list, which means Oprah’s been dropped for the first time in the list’s history, according to this story on the Vanity Fair Web site.

Neither Time nor Vanity Fair provided a reason for the omission, but to us, her absence from the list must stem from the struggles of her eponymous cable channel, OWN, which is scoring lower-than-expected ratings and losing money.

That’s a big change for Oprah, who spent most of her career making money — billions of it — for herself and her business partners. Now, though, her move to cable TV has been a losing proposition for her and partner Discovery Networks.

And, without the platform of her top-rated daytime talk show, she’s no longer in the running for A-list interviews like she was previously.

These magazine lists are, of course, wholly subjective. And sometimes we wonder if omissions such as this one are done intentionally, as a way of drawing attention to the list in the first place.

In addition, how does one measure “influence” anyway? For example, among the new additions to the list this year (which you can peruse for yourself right here) are Kate and Pippa Middleton, Tim Tebow, Kristen Wiig, Rihanna, and Mitt Romney. Looking at these names, it’s reasonable to ask: Do Kristen Wiig and Rihanna really have “influence” and, if so, do they have more of it than Oprah Winfrey? What about Tim Tebow and Mitt Romney? Well, Tebow’s a “maybe” and Romney’s probably a “yes” because he’s attempting to “influence” people to vote for him for President of the United States, and succeeding.

Of course, we’re keenly interested in the handful of TV types who made the list.

And here they are: Louis CK, Matt Lauer, Claire Danes and Stephen Colbert.

How Oprah Winfrey feels about being excluded from the list is anybody’s guess. She hasn’t commented.

She still makes great television, though — check out this clip:
[iframe http://xfinitytv.comcast.net/tv/Oprah-s-Next-Chapter/174390/2223552314/Gloria-Steinem-s-NYC-Apartment/embed 580 476]
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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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