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Oprah charts comeback with big-name interviews (+video)

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Winfrey's presence in daytime was a mixed blessing for veteran Hollywood publicist Howard Bragman. Most of his clients wanted to be on "Oprah" and were convinced they had a story she wanted to hear. When they did, it was great.

When they didn't, not so great. "It was a ton of pressure," he said, "and there's a part of me that is happy the pressure has lifted."

Now he can suggest a media strategy with interviewers who can reach his clients' target audiences. Bragman often goes retro, preferring the news divisions at broadcast television networks.

Ellen DeGeneres is probably the leading personality in daytime now, but her show is about entertainment. Dr. Phil and Anderson Cooper get some interviews, as does "The View" and "The Talk."

None has the impact that Winfrey had on a consistent basis, said Bill Carroll, an expert in the syndication market for Katz Media.

Also missing from the scene is CNN's Larry King, who didn't have the same juice as Winfrey but had a friendly reputation that made him a popular stop for people with hard stories to tell. King's replacement, Piers Morgan, is not as established and is dragged down by CNN's ratings problems.

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