Maria Shriver is struggling through an extraordinarily difficult time, but one aspect of the next phase of her professional life may be rounding into shape.
Chicago Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed says he's been "told Oprah has taken Shriver, one of her best friends, under her voluminous wing and is talking media projects with the former NBC TV anchor/journalist on the TV titan's new OWN network."
Shriver was among the gallery of stars who showed up to pay tribute to Winfrey at the taping of her third- and second-to-last shows, at Chicago's United Center Tuesday night.
Shriver, the Kennedy heiress, appeared on the same day it was revealed her now-estranged husband, Arnold Schwarzenegger, fathered a child with a woman on his household staff more than a decade ago.
Shriver did not mention her husband during the taping.
"You have given me love, support, wisdom and most of all the truth," Shriver told Winfrey. "And I know I'm not alone in receiving those gifts from you."
CBS News correspondent Cynthia Bowers reports OWN's been "struggling to connect with viewers. It's reported to be averaging only 135,000 viewers an hour -- a far cry from the estimated 45 million who watched her show every week. Earlier this month, Oprah brought in new leadership.
Sun-Times columnist Bill Zwecker told CBS News, "I think ... they've gotta get a little more Oprah into OWN."
And that, says Bowers, is exactly what Oprah plans to do. Once her show goes off the air next week, the only place you'll be able to see her is on the network that bears her name.