Yale Professor Offers a Surprising Explanation for Oprah’s Success

Apr 22, 2011  •  Post A Comment

A Yale professor who says she has studied almost every episode during the past 12 years of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" says she knows the secret to Winfrey’s success: She has turned herself into the equivalent of a religious icon, reports the New York Post.

Kathryn Lofton, a religion professor at Yale, writes in her new book, "Oprah: The Gospel of an Icon," that Winfrey built her following by using the language of traditional religion, with the change from talk-show host to religious icon taking place in 1994, the story says.

“Her spiritual revelation was converted into a corporate makeover," Lofton said. "Her show became ‘Change Your Life TV.’"

Winfrey started preaching what Lofton calls a consistent gospel, The Gospel of You, which mixes a Southern preacher’s rhythmic speech patterns with a sermon-like structure to her shows, the story says. Winfrey’s message of being forgiven for your flaws while being given advice for what you should be doing is the secret of her success, according to Lofton.


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