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Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres get candid about ultimate decision to end their shows

Oprah Winfrey also shared what she has missed the most in the 10 years since her daytime talk show went off the air.
/ Source: TODAY

Ellen DeGeneres has gotten some advice on life after a successful daytime talk show from a person who is now 10 years past wrapping up her own iconic show.

DeGeneres spoke with Oprah Winfrey on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" Thursday about her decision to end her show next year, a move that had Winfrey reminiscing about the end of her own daytime talk show in 2011 after a 25-year run.

"Listen it's almost 10 years ago ... when I was in this exact position," Winfrey said in a preview clip of their chat. "I know what those feelings are, I also know the feelings leading up to it.

"So hearing you say and announcing to the world that it was your instinct and you thought long and hard about it, because anybody would know that for something that is as powerful as the show is in other people's lives, that you would not take that lightly and that coming to the realization that now it is time is a process."

In an emotional monologue shared ahead of Thursday's show, DeGeneres said her instinct told her "it was time." That message resonated with Winfrey.

"You know inside yourself, so I'm proud of you for trusting your instinct because I know there has to be, as there was in the case with me, a lot of people around you who want to keep that train moving, who want you to keep going, and then only you know when it is time," Winfrey said.

In an exclusive interview on TODAY Thursday, DeGeneres told Savannah Guthrie that her decision was not driven by claims of a toxic workplace last summer, or the show's large ratings decline.

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"If it was why I was quitting, I would have not come back this year," she told Savannah.

As DeGeneres prepares for her final season, Winfrey shared what she has missed in the decade since ending her show.

"What I miss the most was the audience, and I don't mean just audience applause," she said. "I always felt like I was a surrogate viewer and I was there representing the audience, so many times I would ask questions, particularly of celebrities, that I didn't care about the answer but I was a stand-in, a surrogate for the audience, so I really missed the camaraderie with the audience.

Winfrey also revealed one thing she didn't miss about her show: makeover segments, which she said became redundant.

"I just thought there's not another way I can ask somebody, 'What mascara are you wearing?'" she said. "There's not another way I can say, 'What color is that eye shadow you're using?'"

DeGeneres said there were tears when she informed her staff this week that the show was wrapping up. Oprah replied that she and her staff shared the same emotions.

"You often don't think, as I often didn't think, when you're looking at people wow, car insurance, mortgages, college educations being paid," Winfrey said. "So I'm just thinking about these people in my day-to-day relationships, but for everybody on that staff, they have built their financial life, their family life on this show. And so for me, that was hard too."

"I think a year is perfect because people have a chance first of all psychologically to take that in and have this next year, which is going to be the most fabulous year ever."