Oprah Winfrey: 'It's Time to Say Goodbye'

Oprah Winfrey: 'It's Time to Say Goodbye'
Oprah Winfrey
C.J. LaFrance/Getty

11/20/2009 AT 12:35 PM EST

Oprah Winfrey has made it official: In a tearful announcement at the end of her show in Chicago on Friday, she confirmed that The Oprah Winfrey Show will end in September 2011.

"After much prayer and careful thought, I decided that next season, season 25 will be the last season," Winfrey told audience members. "I love this show. … This show has been my life and I love it enough to know when it's time to say goodbye."

Winfrey, 55, thanked her viewers for their support over the years. "These years with you, our viewers, have enriched my life beyond all measure," she said. "We've grown together. You've raised your families, had your children. And left a spot for me in the mornings or the afternoons. … I want you all to know my relationship with you is one that I hold very dear."

Of course Winfrey fans can be assured: she won't be retiring completely. She is preparing to start her own cable channel, OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, a joint venture with Discovery.

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