King World is in talks with Oprah Winfrey about renewing her contract through 1996.
Analysts said they expect the syndicator to announce today at their annual luncheon with financial types that they had inked a deal.
However, King World exec VP and chief operating officer Stephen Palley said talks are continuing and no announcement would be forthcoming at this year’s confab.
The talk superstar — whose current contract runs through the ’94-’95 season — is crucial to King World’s fortunes. Her show generates annual revenues of about $ 180 million, of which King World takes a 43% split, about $ 77 million.
While Winfrey is forbidden from taking her talkshow elsewhere, she could leave to pursue other non-talk projects. Given her show’s unflagging popularity, however, sources expect to Oprah to reup for an even higher share of the take.