By Brian Steinberg
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) – Oprah Winfrey, the inspirational talk-show host, TV executive and interviewer, will join CBS newsmagazine “60 Minutes” in the fall, the network announced Tuesday.
“Her body of work is extraordinary, including thousands of interviews with people from all walks of life. She is a remarkable and talented woman with a level of integrity that sets her apart and makes her a perfect fit for ’60 Minutes,'” said Jeff Fager, the program’s executive producer, in a prepared statement. “I am thrilled that she will be bringing her unique and powerful voice to our broadcast.”
Winfrey has a longstanding and unique relationship with CBS. The company agreed red on 1999 to purchase King World Productions, a syndicated-TV powerhouse that launched Winfrey’s famous and durable talk show. At the time, Winfrey, a substantial King World shareholder, was expected to control one-half a percentage point of CBS stock. The relationship stands today: Winfrey is an executive producer of CBS’ syndicated “Dr. Phil” program.
CBS did not offer details of the types of segments Winfrey might contribute to “60 Minutes.” But she is known for her ability to get even the most famous actor or actress to disclose close-held feelings and emotions. One of the show’s most penetrating interviewers of celebrities, Morley Safer, retired from the newsmagazine last year, just days before passing away.
Winfrey these days has been focused on OWN, a joint-venture cable network operated by her Harpo production unit and Discovery Communications. Hearst publishes “O: The OprahMagazine” she founded. And she joined the board of Weight Watchers in 2015.