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Not even Oprah Winfrey's own partners know what she'll do

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com

oprah winfrey photos Early Tuesday afternoon, Discovery Communications told Company Town that the talk-show diva would not join them at a big presentation to advertisers in Chicago held to promote Discovery's cable channels -- including the Oprah Winfrey Network, a joint venture between Discovery and Winfrey set to launch next January. The cable programming giant went as far as to say that Winfrey's presence in Chicago -- which is where she lives and tapes her talk show -- was never expected at the event. Guess what: Winfrey showed up after all. According to OWN and Discovery, Winfrey decided Tuesday afternoon to make an appearance at the last minute. She alerted OWN's staff at 4:07 p.m., seven minutes after the advertisers event was underway, that she intended to swing by. Arriving only 10 minutes later, Winfrey was led to a seat and even had a spotlight shone on her and waved to the assembled executives. Even better news for Discovery is that a potentially time-consuming defamation lawsuit against Winfrey was settled out of court this afternoon, shortly before she was scheduled to testify in the trial.

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O'Donnell to Take Over for Oprah?

http://www.cbsnews.com

oprah winfrey photos Six-Time Daytime Emmy Winner Plans to Have a Single-Topic "Uplifting" Show Similar to Winfrey's. Rosie O'Donnell plans an "uplifting" new television talk show for launch next year that aims squarely at the audience Oprah Winfrey is leaving behind when her show ends. O'Donnell won six Daytime Emmys in six years as host of an entertainment-oriented talk show that ended in 2002, but is planning something different this time - a single-topic aspirational show that sounds much like what Winfrey is doing right now. Her success depends on convincing viewers that she's not the polarizing figure she's often seemed in the ensuing years and getting television executives to bet on something new at a time they're struggling for money. "I would like this show to make a difference in people's lives, to be real, uplifting, authentic and focus on life, love and laughter," O'Donnell, 48, said. Scott Carlin and Dick Robertson, two former Warner Bros. syndication executives who helped launch O'Donnell's first show, said they approached her about getting back into daytime TV shortly after Winfrey's announcement.

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Winfrey Settles Lawsuit Brought by Former Headmistress

http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com

You may see Oprah Winfrey next week on her syndicated talk show, but you won’t be seeing the broadcasting queen in a Philadelphia courtroom. On Tuesday Ms. Winfrey settled a defamation lawsuit filed by the former headmistress of a school she set up in South Africa, who had said that the talk show host had defamed her after a sex-abuse scandal there, Reuters reported. Nomvuho Mzamane ran the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa at its founding in 2007 but left after students there said they were being abused by another staff member. After Ms. Winfrey held a news conference and said that Ms. Mzamane had ignored the students’ complaints, Ms. Mzamane said Ms. Winfrey had defamed her and made it difficult for her to find another job. A statement from lawyers representing both women said the dispute had been settled “peacefully to their mutual satisfaction” and both women had withdrawn their complaints, according to Reuters. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. A trial was scheduled to begin on Monday in federal court in Philadelphia, where Ms. Mzamane was living when she filed the suit.

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Oprah settles lawsuit with former headmistress

http://www.necn.com

alk show host Oprah Winfrey reportedly rearranged the taping of her show, setting aside time to go to trial in Philadelphia. But that will not be necessary any longer -- the potentially nasty lawsuit has been settled. The former headmistress of Oprah's South African girls school was suing Winfrey for defamation of character. In particular, comments the talk show host made following revelations that several students had been sexually abused on her watch. At the time, Winfrey said she'd lost confidence in the headmistress, and was cleaning house from top to bottom. The two settled the dispute after a face-to-face discussion. A joint statement from both women's attorneys read: "The two parties met woman to woman without their lawyers and are happy that they could resolve this dispute peacefully to their mutual satisfaction." "It is somewhat unusual to take the lawyers out of the question, but I think Oprah has sort of the star power to ultimately wrestle or cajole a deal with an opposing litigant," Attorney Dana Cole said of the settlement.

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