Bargain Banter: TV Divas Martha And Oprah’s Changing Roles–Is It Marked By The Downturn In The Economy?

Oprah and MarthaThose of us who write on the web check our stats to see how we are doing.  Periodically, we also check on how others are doing.  Markdown Mom has noticed lately that the stats for Martha Stewart.com have been hidden at the” request of the owner”.  With the exception of the huge audience for the interview of Sarah Palin, Oprah.com has shown declines since June of this year.

A lot of us who are simply writers and not television personalities have not gone to the trouble to quantify stats on our sites perhaps because we simply want to put a positive face on and bolster ourselves to continue to slug away at our passion.  But for large companies such as Martha and Oprah’s that, despite the downturn in the economy, still have a decent draw of viewers and are ranked in the upper 1% of web domains, stats have a greater effect.  This is especially true given that besides being on the web, these are television personalities and in the world of TV, perception is everything.

Perhaps the stats serve as a prospectus of how their individual companies are doing, and in a rough economy any losses may be indicative of  a company’s  health.  Both have shown declines, but  have not reacted to declines the same way.  Like a race car driver who speeds up while maneuvering a hairpin curve, Martha is expanding her company’s interests in the midst of a loss of 35 million this year.  Oprah is leaving network TV, for her syndicated cable network.  It’s hard to say in what direction, despite slams,  Rachael Ray will go since she has a foot in both worlds.

This economy has shown that celebrity and wealth does not insulate, it just takes longer for the other shoe to fall when you have financial reserves.  Most of us smaller entities have been hit hard by this economic crisis beginning in 2007, and still are not on firm ground.  Many of us were not too big to fail; however, something is afoot here when even institutions like Martha Stewart and Oprah Winfrey find it necessary to change, either in pulling back or risk taking.

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