On Friday, Oprah Winfrey was affected by a stock market plunge that resulted in a loss of $27 million in one fell swoop. The beloved talk show host holds stock in Weight Watchers and unfortunately, the well-known diet organization with which the celebrity is affiliated saw a 30 percent drop.
Watch Oprah talk about her favorite Weight Watchers breakfast meal.
Variety shares the details about the hit the lifestyle brand took and why Winfrey has been so affected by the company’s financial loss.
“CNN Money reports that shares of Weight Watchers (WTW) dipped 30% on Friday after the lifestyle brand announced a quarterly loss of $11 million. Winfrey’s stake fell by $27 million on Friday as a side effect. Winfrey signed on to play a big part in Weight Watchers’ public image last October when she acquired a 10% stake in the company, joined its board and became a member herself.”
The Weight Watchers stock is reportedly trading at 60 percent less than it was at its peak in November. TMZ reports that Winfrey holds a 10 percent stake in the company.
Many are being led to believe that Winfrey does not hold the same ability to sway consumers the way she once did back when she had her long-running hit talk show. As Variety shares, the perception that Winfrey is losing her appeal and hold over the public is also due to flops she’s experienced in other recent projects.
“Winfrey is believed to have accumulated a profit of close to $30 million since joining up in October. The significant drop has led some to call into question Winfrey’s ability to sway public opinion the way she once could. Early ratings for Winfrey’s faith-oriented series ‘Belief’ also led to speculation on the dwindling Oprah brand when the show debuted in October.”
Oprah has spent decades as one of the most powerful persuaders on television. For years, all the talk show powerhouse would have to do is simply suggest a book or a product or a public figure, and the popularity of any of those mentioned would skyrocket. Unfortunately, Winfrey’s recent attempts at persuasion have not had the results she once would have and onlookers are taking note.
Winfrey’s intention to turn her own television network into the world’s “biggest classroom,” as she once stated, has not panned out quite like the star planned, as TV critic Brian Lowry mentions.
“[A]fter a flood of promotion trading off Winfrey’s name, reinforces the sense that she sacrificed some of her cultural clout when she gave up her daily platform.Clearly, Winfrey’s intention to transform the network that bears her name into ‘the world’s biggest classroom,’ as she once called it, proved more ambitious than was commercially feasible.”
Lowry hones in on the key factor that has led to Winfrey’s public pull not being what it once was. When Oprah gave up her massively popular and long-running daily talk show, she lost her platform and ability to remind people about who she is and what she stands for, on a daily basis. The star also neglected to realize that there is still a need to attract and grow her audience. At this point she simply has to rely on her audience from years gone by who were faithful viewers of her show. However, surely even her formerly massive fan base must be slipping since Winfrey has left daily programming. “Out of sight, out of mind,” as the saying goes.
Despite Winfrey’s financial loss due to the Weight Watchers dip, it’s unlikely that the multimillionaire will even feel the effects, and Oprah will still manage to find her niche outside of daytime programming. Or perhaps this experience will encourage Winfrey to get back to a more recurring role on a daytime program to remind viewers and fans of who she is and what she is all about.
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