1/1/11 at 8:00 AM
When it was announced, back in 2008, that Oprah Winfrey would soon be getting her own television network, a person could have been forgiven for thinking she already had one of those. Not just because she previously cofounded the Oxygen network before selling back her shares, but because Oprah wields such a singularly massive influence, it’s easy to forget there are cracks and crevices of the culture her glowing light hasn’t shone on. But the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) is a pivotal moment for the Oprah brand. When her syndicated talk show ends this year, OWN will be her only—not to mention her riskiest—television presence. Those who have wondered whether there were limits to Oprah’s power might get their answer soon.