Oprah is back, but we’ve known that for a while. The big news now is that the media mogul is back at the top of Forbes’ Most Influential Celebrities. After a two-year drop to second place, probably due to the cancellation of her talk show and the flop that Oprah’s OWN network turned out to be, she has once again reclaimed her spot as the single most powerful (though influential really does spound better) person in the entertainment industry. This is obviously the year of female entertainers, with Lady GaGa following closely at second place, Beyonce at 4th and Madonna, Taylor Swift and Ellen Degeneres all featured in the top ten.
Oprah might not be a talk show host anymore, but money still talks.
But it was mostly Oprah’s year, what with OWN returning from near-abandonment with brand new original programming, a lot of it featuring the woman herself. According to Forbes, the venture could turn a profit by the end of 2013, which would be a welcome change for the network, which reportedly lost $330 million between 2008 and 2013. However, things are looking up at the moment, as the Discovery-owned OWN is at least not hemorrhaging money anymore.
Despite her mandatory hiatus, Lady Gaga came in at a close second.
It’s not like Winfrey doesn’t have other ventures to line her pockets as well. Her media empire includes a network on Sirius XM, as well as profits from parented shows by protégés like Dr Phil and Rachel Ray. And let’s not forget Oprah’s O Magazine – the woman does have a penchant for snappy titles. All of her projects combined to earn her an estimated $77 million this past year (between June 2012 and June 2013.) All of it goes to show that when Oprah makes a comeback, she doesn’t do it halfway.
Even with the OWN network's drop, she didn't put all her eggs in one basket.