Oprah discusses the future with Rick Williams

NEW YORK - September 24, 2009 As she was in the Big Apple, she spent some time with Action News. We discussed a number of things, including the new fall season.

But, the big question was: What could happen after the season ends?

"I have a decision to make by the end of this year about the future of the Oprah show as we know it," she said.

She's been the host of the Oprah Winfrey Show for 24 years, and is now deciding if there will be a 25th. Her contract is almost up, and during our conversation she admitted to wondering if there was anything left to conquer.

"The challenge Rick, as you know, is to remain fresh, to bring a fresh way of looking at things, to ideas that are an everyday part of our lives," she said.

Oprah could continue to tell those stories on her own network, in which she's currently in the process of creating. That will certainly factor into her decision whether to continue her syndicated show. It's made her one of the most recognizable and wealthiest people in the world.

While her life has been transformed, she remains inspired by the impact its had on her millions of viewers.

"I think what I've been able to do is to have this platform that allows people and their issues to be heard," said Oprah.

Last season, critics say she fell into disfavor with a portion of her audience by publicly endorsing Barack Obama for president. Many viewers, apparently, were turned off by her political stance.

Through it all, though, she still considers Obama's election a personal triumph, despite the president's somewhat lagging popularity and constant criticicm amid the health-care debate.

"We knew there would be some difficult days. Who hasn't had difficult days? Every time there's been a health-care issue, it's caused bipartisan feelings to crop up. So, if this isn't passed, this won't be the last time," Oprah said.

In the end, specifics about her next step remained elusive.

"I don't know what the future holds," Oprah said. "But I do know who holds the future."

Oprah airs on Monday through Friday at 4:00 p.m. on 6abc.

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