January 7th, 2011
04:47 PM ET
Oprah Winfrey had a lot to say during the Television Critics Association press tour, among them being what she really thinks about Anderson Cooper.
A popular question from reporters at the OWN panel Thursday was whether or not she thought Anderson Cooper has what it takes to fill her shoes when he launches his own nationally syndicated talk show in the fall.
“No...He will definitely not be the next Oprah,” Winfrey replied.“Will he be the next Anderson Cooper? Yes.”
She added that the question was akin to when she was first starting out, and people would inquire if she was going to be the next Phil Donahue.
“I created my own way,” Winfrey told reporters, noting that she is a fan of the “AC:360” host. “Obviously, he’s very talented. It would be interesting to see who does watch him, and what [he'll] do that’s different. And I will be rooting for him.”
But Winfrey has come a long way since her first episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” The 56-year-old is now running her own network, appropriately titled OWN, and the task isn’t easy. The cable channel has seen a slight dip in ratings since its January 1 debut, but Winfrey isn't losing faith, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
"I think we're going to have some perhaps rocky times with the channel, keeping people there and keeping people motivated to keep watching, keeping them engaged," she admitted at the press event. "Taking the responsibility of programming — even the first 600 hours — it's a lot. And knowing that half of what we're doing is not going to work, then what? But it's an ongoing process, and I trust the process."
Regardless of ratings, Winfrey is proud of her inspirational programs, which include the investigative "Miracle Detectives," "Christina Ferrare's Big Bowl of Love" cooking show, and "Master Class," a celebrity profile series.
She told CNN, "My dream is that my channel will be the homebase for people that are seeking the best of themselves. My dream is that the channel will be on in homes the same way that people find their favorite radio station. And my dream is that this channel will always be the place that you can come to and vibe on the good energy that is there."
In the end, she added at the press event, "We know that if we continue to build the channel with programs that are meaningful to our viewers... and operating from the point of view of, how are we going to serve [the audience], I think we'll be more than all right. You serve them and they will come."
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