Millions of Oprah fans are waking up this morning, preparing for life without their favorite TV friend.
Oprah's last hurrah, a heartfelt and sincere event, was not really a goodbye; more like a see you down the road.
All alone, without a single guest, Oprah Winfrey shined the spot-light on her audience.
After a 2-day star-studded buildup, her swan song was a love-letter to her fans.
Part pep-talk, part Sunday morning sermon.
Oprah said, "Nothing but the hand of god has made this possible for me."
she urged them to build better lives... Be better people... Much like she's done over the last quarter century, “All the energy you spend trying to hurt somebody else, that energy will turn around and slap you in the face.”
And no sooner had her finale hit the airwaves, did Oprah's fan club flood the internet.
"I can barely watch this last show without crying," said one. "It was a great way to end," read another.
Even late night comedians chimed in.
Letterman said, "Every day, I get out of bed and think: `What can I do to suck up to Oprah?"'
At its height in 1991, the show reeled in twelve and a half million viewers. Increasing competition from cable and the internet helped cut her audience in half.
Sam Schechner with The Wall Street Journal said, "What's left is both an opportunity and a danger that Oprah's 7 million or so viewers may not watch TV once she's gone."
Stations across the country are programming Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz into her time slot, TV-talk hosts she helped launch. But few expect lightening to strike again.
Schechner said, “There's shifting sands and possibly opportunities maybe not for a big home run or a grand slam but a number of singles and doubles."
Her numbers broke records; More than four thousand episodes in daytime talk. But unlike Carson or Donahue, she promises not to fade from view. With her own 24-hour network, “I won't say goodbye, I'll say till we meet again.”
Loyal fans should know where to find her.
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