Oprah: Anderson Cooper will create his own path
January 7th, 2011
04:47 PM ET

Oprah: Anderson Cooper will create his own path

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."

soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. karen s

    Why do so many people choose to hate or choose to be jealous? We should use the talents God blessed us with to do good in the world. I believe Oprah & Anderson are doing just that.

    January 11, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  2. kayla

    I like Anderson Cooper,I think his show will be great.

    January 10, 2011 at 6:09 am | Report abuse |
  3. Leon mckelvie

    Oprah u got it going on I love ur network thank god for u

    January 10, 2011 at 12:44 am | Report abuse |
  4. happy

    Oprah a little admiration is not bad step not yonder it. keep balance as you propose to.

    January 9, 2011 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Tracy

    Anderson cooper is still in the closet – lmao .It hasn't hurt Rachel Maddow , he must have some shame.

    January 9, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  6. bearntal

    I used to watch that channel a lot before she took over it. I like her and all but I really liked quite a few programs they had on there.

    January 9, 2011 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  7. Nan

    Oprah said it perfectly. If someone is good it is because they are original, not a carbon copy of the next person.

    Frankly, I would like to see Anderson Cooper get a co-host that could play off his super serious personality. That is why he is so funny co-hosting with Kathy Griffin on New Year's Eve. He is the voice of sanity that we in the audience want to relate to.

    Congrats to Anderson Cooper and best of luck.

    January 9, 2011 at 6:19 am | Report abuse |
  8. Poppy

    Anderson Cooper is a pretty amazing man. Although he is a Vanderbilt, it's not like he's made it on his mother's money and fame. At 21 he got himself into Bosnia illegally and covered the war from the front, putting himself in mortal danger. He turned his reporting there into a job as a reporter for TV One. Over the years he worked his way up by volunteering for the tough assignments, most notably Hurricane Katrina where he was instrumental in helping make the government aware of the tragedy that was happening there. No, he won't be another Oprah. He'll be Anderson Cooper, which in my opinion, is pretty darned good.

    January 8, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
  9. jellybean

    I hope O starts to realize that many women get bashed everyday all over the country. She needs to back women to become succesfull. Call out all the haters all over the blogs, look behind the curtain O, they are there. Do a extensive report on this, and show the public what is really out there.

    January 8, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Pamela Oster

    To Ms. O
    I am excited about many of the new yet to be shown shows scheduled-but perhaps the channel launch to soon! I watched on New Year Day with much anticipation and enjoyed-but since then have tuned in regularly only to see repeats of what I already watched-days later. And too often, it was a continuous run of her introduction show(for OWN). You are going to lose em Ms. Winfrey, if u can not offer enough variety yet. However I am rooting for you. I think much has great content and like your show-inspires. Some of the spring offerings look good. But I have read much about this launch. How many like me would know you are not fully functioning yet?-perhaps a disclaimer to scroll across the bottom of the screen for the time being?

    January 8, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  11. kevin conway

    Oprah hates men.

    January 8, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  12. GREG

    Oprah isn't going to say ANYONE will be the next Oprah because there won't be another she came on the air at a pivotal time in the US and she set the tone for what a talk show should be. I'm interested to see how Anderson does with his own talk show I like him as a correspondent and host but I'm skeptical however I think he'll do ok

    January 8, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Valerie

    Good luck to you Oprah and good luck to you, Anderson Cooper- continue to strive, breakdown prejudices, and set a positive example for us all.

    January 8, 2011 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  14. RM

    I have always been a fan of Oprah, since her network aired, I have tried to get interest in the shows she have on,
    but frankly I get bored watching them. I have tune in twice and everytime there is Dr. Phil . Sometimes
    he offer good advice, but I just find him very boring. Anderson Cooper need to just stay on CNN, I think he will be
    just as boring as Dr. PHil.

    January 8, 2011 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
  15. Ms.Bev

    Wrong...Anderson has made a lot of money but not because of his Mother. At one point early in his career his Mother went bankrupt and he moved her in with him. I imagine his childhood was priviledged, but he's been working since he was a child, first as a model and then a journalist.

    January 8, 2011 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  16. Al

    Mrs M, you do realize that Anderson Cooper is a Vanderbilt, right? Gloria is his mother. He has more money that is needed to shower his audiences with gifts...

    January 8, 2011 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
    • An Fan

      YOU get a car
      YOU get a car, and
      YOU get a car
      ooooh, An Coop should do that too. Hope I can get a ticket to the show.

      January 9, 2011 at 6:14 am | Report abuse |
  17. Mrs. M

    Oprah Winfrey was a trail-blazer, the 1st black woman to host a talk show. But, the reason she was so successful is because she never made it about race. She appealed to ALL races and (at least in the beginning) all classes of people. She never avoided the race issue, but she never made it an issue. In this way, she's responsible for eroding the underlying racist tone that permeated the upbringing of many white people, me included. No matter who you are, you can't help what seeds your parents plant deep in your brain when you're growing up, and mine taught racism at home, yet never openly acted racist in public. I credit Oprah for changing my thinking about race. Now, I find I'm only "classist" which is about trashy behavior, manners and speech, not about how much money anyone has, or where they come from. I like Anderson Cooper. He clearly got his break (his own TV show) because he worked nearly 24/7 during the invasion of Iraq. He's plenty likable, even though he (then and now) stumbles over his words almost regularly. He's just the kind of personality that's easy to like. Perhaps, because he has appeal as a "real" person (not fake personality) he might do well on a talk-show. But, it will depend on whether or not the topics he tackles are topics that appeal to the viewing audience, and whether or not he can manage to control his studio audience. If he can't control ghetto behavior, such as yelling, cursing, etc. from the audience, he'll stink just like the rest of them. Maybe it amounts to whether or not the studio audience respects the talk-show host. Will Anderson Coooper ever be rich enough to shock audiences with freebies worth thousands of dollars? Doubtful. But, I still like him, and I might even watch.

    January 8, 2011 at 7:00 am | Report abuse |
  18. :p

    No one will be able to replace oprah any way. No one will be able to look up to any one like they did to her. Sorry but that's the truth. Just sayin

    January 7, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Vee

    Love Oprah. All she's saying is that Anderson Cooper will make his own great legacy–cuz there will NEVER be another Lady O. Can't hate on her success.

    January 7, 2011 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Alana

    You have obviously have been mislead or you are delusional. Ophrah is not and has never been a hater. Many successful people have become famous by getting exposure on the Oprah show. Please, there will "never" be another Oprah, gay or straight !

    January 7, 2011 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
  21. banasy

    My dream would be that Oprah gives me enough money that I actually CAN have a dream.

    January 7, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Rob Zombie

    Her head is too big so is her body

    January 7, 2011 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • keepItReal

      ummm dear... didn't ANYONE ever tell you hate is a nasty thing.Why do you not like her?? Poor baby.. spending so much time hating her and to her.. you are as important as a forgotten blob of gum 😉

      January 9, 2011 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Piyem

      The beauty of a person is in his/her character and brains.That's why no matter what you haters say, Oprah is such a beautiful person to many intelligent people.

      January 20, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Crystal

    OWN is too much Oprah...and it is not very good. It will not be successful

    January 7, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Oprah fan

      That's like saying "ESPN has too much sports programming".

      January 9, 2011 at 6:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Debbie

      I think OWN is fine, she is going to have to be a little more diveresed though.....Oprah I have your next crew of Oprahs All Stars. Let's try me as the commentator, Iyana Vanzant as Dr. Phil, Michelle Singletary as Suze Orman, and Valerie as Dr. Oz.

      January 18, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  24. D

    I don't like either very much

    January 7, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Joe S. Momma

    Yes, he does lack a v@gina, by that simple fact alone, he could not be a woman.

    January 7, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • stu

      OWN offers nothing new that u can't get on any other channel. the peeps she hired=boring.
      you'll always have ur magazine O when ur network tanks.

      January 10, 2011 at 12:46 am | Report abuse |

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