PANIC. Vulture buddy Nikki Finke reports today that Oprah has decided not to extend her deal with CBS to keep The Oprah Winfrey Show on the network and in Chicago. Instead, in 2011, she'll move it to her own Los Angeles–based Oprah Winfrey Network, a much-delayed joint venture between Winfrey and Discovery Communications. (Finke's CBS source says no decision has yet been made, though Oprah had allegedly planned to tell Les Moonves last month, but had to cancel their meeting.) This reportedly follows an ultimatum from Discovery boss David Zaslav, who demanded she either move her show to OWN or lose the cable network altogether. Adversely affected would be CBS, obviously, but also the ABC stations that air Oprah, plus all of the other things on which she exerts an influence (so long, publishing industry!). The only way this could be more disruptive is if her new cable show airs nightly in prime time.
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