Oprah: “I Love It Enough to Know When to Say Goodbye”

Oprah teared up as she announced that The Oprah Winfrey Show would be ending next year after its 25th season.

“I love this show, this show has been my life," she said, tears in her eyes. "I love it enough to know when to say goodbye. Twenty five years feels right in my bones and it feels right in my spirit. It's the perfect number, the exact right time."

As she stood before her studio audience and the cameras halfway through her 24th season, Oprah said she revered her connection with her audience.

"I want you all to know that my relationship with you is one I hold very dear," she said. "And your trust in me and your sharing of your precious time has brought me the greatest joy I have ever known."

Oprah also mentioned that she expected to hear much conjecture in the media about the reasons for her leaving. But she said, she wanted her audience to hear from her directly.

News of Oprah's departure first broke Thursday evening.

The president of Winfrey's production company announced in an e-mail that the queen of talk TV would be ending her show at the end of its 25th season.

"The sun will set on the "Oprah" show," Tim Bennett wrote in the e-mail.  Staffers were informed of the decision earlier in the day.

Winfrey confirmed earlier this month that she was moving forward with her long-delayed Oprah Winfrey Network.  At the time, however, she declined to comment on whether that would mean moving her show to Los Angeles

At the start of this year's season, Oprah closed off the Magnificent Mile, hosting her show from the Michigan Avenue bridge in what was considered a love letter to the city.

A few weeks later, she also pitched in with First Lady Michelle Obama to travel to Copenhagen to try to sway the International Olympic Committee to select Chicago for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. 

This past week, Oprah earned her highest ratings in two years with former Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin as her guest.

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