Sally Jessy Raphael has some regrets about the way her long-running syndicated talk show, Sally, ended.
Now 81, Raphael appears on Oprah Winfrey's show, Oprah: Where Are They Now?, and talks about how she would have changed the direction in which the show went prior to its 2002 cancellation. With other talk shows like Jerry Springer's and Maury Povich's coming up in the ratings due to their shock value, producers on Sally chose to cover those types of stories instead of hard news and human interest ones.
"The last years of doing those Maury Povich/Jerry Spring shows? I hated them," she says. "I was betrayed by some of the producers into doing that. Come to think of it, I should have fought harder for what I knew what right—what I knew that I didn't want to do."
Eventually low ratings would cause Sally's cancellation, but prior to the official announcement Raphael says she had no idea the show was going to end. Now, she feels like she betrayed her dedicated staff after reassuring them the show wouldn't end.
"They told us that the show was going to go on and we had 250 employees," Raphael explains. "Now some of them said, 'Sally, we need to know if we're going to be renewed. I want to buy a house or my wife and I want to be pregnant.' And then within two months after they bought their house and got pregnant or whatever, I had to go in front of the entire crew and staff."
She maintains that she didn't know they were going off the air. "I'm sure there are some who think that I knew all along. I did not. I would not," she confesses.
In hindsight, Raphael admits she would change how she handled the situation. "I would have said to them 'I don't know' instead of 'Yes, it's a go,'" she revealed.
Oprah: Where Are They Now? airs Saturdays at 10 p.m. ET on OWN.