Oprah says good-bye to Chicago

Did you hear the new rumor about Oprah Winfrey? No, not that one! This one says that come 2011, her daytime talk show will leave Chicago and be based out of Los Angeles.

According to Deadline Hollywood, the big O planned on calling it quits way back in 2002, then again in 2006. At that point she renewed her syndication contracts through 2011. But now, it looks like she’ll be moving the show from national syndication to her very own OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) station.

While there’s no denying that Oprah’s success is a positive force for Chicago tourism (even those who can’t get the coveted tickets for her show will make the pilgrimage out to Harpo Studios to take a tour or shop at the Oprah Store), the daytime diva hasn’t really been all that connected with Chicago for many years. Sure, she tapes the show here, she flies in for special events, and she lobbied (unsuccessfully) for Chicago’s Olympic bid, but other than that, she doesn’t spend a whole lot of time here, preferring instead her gigantic estate in Montecito, California.

For tourists and die-hard Oprah fans, I’m sure she will be missed. For residents (especially those who had their commutes disrupted when she closed down the streets for her massive season launch party), it’s sad to lose an icon, but hey, we’ve still got the Sears Tower…..oh, wait, nevermind.

According to “entertainment insiders”, Oprah’s company will make the announcement outlining her plans to move, sometime in the next six months.