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Oprah Winfrey joins CBS’ ‘60 Minutes’ as a special contributor

Oprah Winfrey has been named a special contributor to CBS News' "60 Minutes." Winfrey will bring occasional reports to the newsmagazine starting fall 2017, when it begins its 50th season on the air. (John Salangsang / The Associated Press)
Oprah Winfrey has been named a special contributor to CBS News' "60 Minutes." Winfrey will bring occasional reports to the newsmagazine starting fall 2017, when it begins its 50th season on the air. (John Salangsang / The Associated Press)

Oprah Winfrey is joining the CBS newsmagazine “60 Minutes” as a contributor.

The talk show host, actress, cable network owner and producer will appear in several segments a year on the program starting this fall, CBS News announced Tuesday.

“I’ve been a big admirer of ‘60 Minutes’ since my days as a young reporter,” Winfrey said in a statement. “I’m so excited and proud to join forces with this historic news program, which for me represents the bastion of journalistic storytelling.”

It’s the first time in the program’s history that “60 Minutes” has had a contributor.

CBS will have to make a call on whether the current ad campaign for Weight Watchers, which features Winfrey as a spokesperson, can run in “60 Minutes.” The commercials have run on other CBS News programs. Winfrey is also on the board of directors of Weight Watchers.

It’s standard practice at serious TV news organizations that anchors and correspondents do not appear in commercials as product endorsers.

Winfrey has been building a relationship with CBS in recent years. She has made frequent appearances on “CBS This Morning,” where her best friend Gayle King is a co-anchor.

CBS also carried Winfrey’s hourlong interview with then-First Lady Michelle Obama in December. The interview aired on CBS before it ran on OWN, the Discovery Communications-owned cable network. Winfrey is chairman and chief executive of OWN.

Winfrey hosted the most successful syndicated talk show in history from 1986 to 2011. During that run she founded her own production company, Harpo Productions, which developed other successful programs including “Dr. Phil,” “The Dr. Oz Show” and “Rachael Ray.” She has also produced films including 2014’s “Selma,” in which she also had a featured role.

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