Magazine article Newsweek

Newsmakers

Magazine article Newsweek

Newsmakers

Article excerpt

Byline: Devin Gordon, Marc Peyser and Lynette Clemetson

All Booked Up

It's no surprise that Oprah Winfrey doesn't have all day to curl up with a good novel, but shelving her beloved book club? Didn't see that one coming. "It has become harder and harder," Winfrey said in a statement last week, "to find books on a monthly basis that I feel absolutely compelled to share." A spokesperson for Winfrey clarified that she will continue to pick books periodically. But the monthly segment on her talk show is over. "It makes me sad," says author Wally Lamb, whose novel "She's Come Undone" was one of 46 Oprah choices in the club's six-year history. "But I'm glad to hear the faucet's not shut off entirely." (So are publishing houses, which have come to depend on Oprah's turbo boosts.) The talk-show segments were never good for ratings, though Winfrey always insisted she didn't care. She did care about having enough time to find the right book. "I'm asking viewers to invest up to $23," she told NEWSWEEK last year. "So it has to be an A-plus read." Without Oprah's help, those A-pluses are going to be that much tougher to find. Media Musical Chairs Greta, Connie, Paula, Geraldo--seems as if TV newscasters are making more news these days than the news itself. The latest bulletin: morning-show veteran Bryant Gumbel has surrendered after more than two years at CBS's dismal "Early Show." CBS paid Gumbel more than $5 million a year to shake off his "Today" show mothballs, but "The Early Show" added only 125,000 viewers since he arrived--that's $40 a head. "I feel like it's time for me to move on and do something else with my life," Gumbel says. That's the understatement of the week. Speaking of mothballs and ratings worries, MSNBC has hired talk-show pioneer Phil Donahue. Unlike on his old program, the new Donahue will not work in front of a studio audience. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.