Oprah's producer on her boss, her book, her future - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Oprah's producer on her boss, her book, her future

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(CBS 8) - She's the woman behind the scenes of the most successful daytime talk show in history. Sheri Salata has now written a book looking back on her time as executive producer of "The Oprah Winfrey Show."

In our interview, she not only talks about Oprah's legacy, but how she's handling the poor ratings on her new cable network OWN.

In May, "The Oprah Winfrey Show" came to an end, but a new book is offering a unique look back at her 25 years as the Queen of Talk.

"It really is a tribute to the viewers who tuned in every day and who asked for this kind of content. Because when you look at it and flip through the pages, you see how special it was, and it was unlike anything on television," Salata said.

"The Oprah Winfrey Show: Reflections on an American Legacy" was penned by Salata, the former executive producer of the show and current president of Harpo. Each chapter highlights viewers' favorite episodes, stories, guests, life lessons, makeovers and big giveaways. Iconic photos frame every page, capturing each breakthrough, adventure "Aha!" moment and celebrity interview. But for Salata, the shows she's most proud of are those tackling difficult social issues, including sexual abuse among children.

"It was such a personal issue in Oprah's own life, particularly relevant today I would say, and every time we would approach that topic and come at it with a different angle, so we could really get people's hearts ignited on the topic. Those shows were hard. They were really hard. And I know many people on the staff would be the walking wounded hearing the stories and getting to know the families so much," Salata said.

Special dedications from some of Oprah's closest friends and Hollywood heavyweights are peppered throughout the book, reflecting on how she impacted our culture.

"I think the show opened our hearts and opened our mind. And I think if you can do that consistently for 25 years, you have a lot to be proud of and it's really a job well done," Salata said.

Oprah's latest chapter includes the launch of her OWN cable network, which so far has produced lackluster ratings. To boot, Oprah's best friend Gayle King has announced she'll be leaving to join the revamped CBS Morning Show.

While execs at OWN say they're sad to see her go, they're also thrilled about her new opportunity, and aren't throwing in the towel just yet.

"We are just in the first inning of this ballgame and it really is a marathon. We're having fun, actually. We just wrapped up a five-week run of life class, and you know there's nothing more she'd rather do than teach, and you know, feeling the connection with people at home and going online. So I think Oprah is in the space that the best is yet to come," Salata said.

You'd think the Oprah shows pretty much tackled it all, but Salata says not quite. She says the one interview she could never score is with music legend Bruce Springsteen.

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