Harpo Productions

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Harpo Productions, Inc.
Harpo Studios, Inc.
Subsidiary of Harpo, Inc.
Industry Media
Founded 1986 (Chicago, Illinois)
Founder Oprah Winfrey
Headquarters Chicago, Illinois (1986–2015)
West Hollywood, California (2015–present)[1][2]
Key people
Oprah Winfrey (Chairwoman/CEO)
Erik Logan (Co-President)
Sheri Salata (Co-President, 2011-2016)
Douglas J. Pattison (CFO)
Products The Oprah Winfrey Show
(1986–2011)
Dr. Phil
(2002–present)
Rachael Ray
(2006–present)
The Dr. Oz Show
(2010–2017)
The Nate Berkus Show
(2010–12)
The Rosie Show
(2011–12)
Super Soul Sunday
(2011–present)
Iyanla: Fix My Life
(2012–present)
Oprah Prime
(2012–15)
Oprah: Where Are They Now?
(2011–present)
Oprah's Master Class
(2011–present)
Oprah's Lifeclass
(2011–14)
Owner Oprah Winfrey
Number of employees
12,554 (2012)
Parent Harpo, Inc. (privately-held)
Divisions Harpo Print
Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN)
(50% with Discovery Communications)
Website www.harpocareers.com

Harpo Productions (also referred to as Harpo Studios) is a U.S.-based multimedia production company founded by Oprah Winfrey (the name "Harpo" is "Oprah" spelled backwards, and was the name of her on-screen husband in The Color Purple) and is the sole subsidiary of her media and entertainment company, Harpo, Inc. Harpo Productions' subsidiaries consist solely of Harpo Print, LLC (the company's publishing house). One of its subsidiaries, Harpo Films (the company's film studio), was shut down in early 2013. Another, Harpo Radio (the company's radio broadcasting division), was shut down January 1, 2015 after satellite radio provider SiriusXM decided not to renew the deal with the radio service.[5] Announced December 4, 2017, the company which previously held 50% of the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) (the company's joint venture cable network with Discovery Communications) will now hold 25.5% of the stake in OWN.[6][7] Discovery Communications purchased 24.5% of OWN for $70 million and will have majority control of OWN.[6][7] The company was based in Chicago, and Harpo Studios (the company's TV production studio and corporate headquarters for Harpo Productions) was located in the Near West Side neighborhood of Chicago until the studios closed in 2015. Harpo Productions and OWN are both currently based in West Hollywood, California.[1][2]

The land where the production studio formerly sat once housed the 2nd Regiment Armory that was used as a makeshift morgue for victims of the capsizing of the steamer SS Eastland.[8] The 88,000-square-foot (8,200 m2) facility was renovated and opened in the late 1980s for use by The Oprah Winfrey Show.[9] The first "Oprah" show taped at Harpo Studios was on January 15, 1990.[10]

Divisions[edit]

Harpo Print, LLC[edit]

Together with Hearst Magazines, Harpo Print, LLC publishes O, The Oprah Magazine.[11] The company also published O at Home, which Hearst officially folded in 2008 after a four-year run.[12]

Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN)[edit]

Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) logo

On January 1, 2011, the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) launched.[13] It is co-owned by Harpo Studios (25.5%) and Discovery Communications, Inc (74.5%).[6] The network replaced the Discovery Health Channel, a cable channel previously owned by Discovery Communications, Inc. The network boasts a variety of new shows, including some hosted by the stable of experts Winfrey has cultivated on her daytime talk show including: The Gayle King Show, Our America with Lisa Ling, In The Bedroom with Dr. Laura Berman and Enough Already! with Peter Walsh.

Other properties[edit]

Harpo Studios[edit]

Marquee above entrance at the now closed Harpo Studios in Chicago
New Harpo Studios Logo sign banners located on the Washington St. side of the main studio in Chicago, Illinois

Harpo Studios was the home of The Oprah Winfrey Show located in Near West Side neighborhood of Chicago. The set also housed The Rosie Show, an American evening television talk show which was hosted and produced by actress and comedian Rosie O'Donnell, airing on the Oprah Winfrey Network. Harpo Studios has Emmy Award-winning teams in production designs, lighting, camera work, editing, audio direction and graphic design. It also served as the location for the set of The Women of Brewster Place. Scenes from Beloved were also filmed on a set in Harpo Studios. The studio was sold to developer Sterling Bay in 2014 and was demolished in 2016.[14] The site will be home to the new global headquarters of McDonald's.

Former divisions[edit]

Harpo Films, Inc.[edit]

Founded in 1993, Harpo Films, Inc. was the biggest division of Harpo Productions, run by Kate Forte for 18 years. It was an active supplier of motion pictures, developing and producing award-winning features and long-form television programs, including the "Oprah Winfrey Presents" telefilms for the ABC television network. Harpo Films was based in Los Angeles, California.

In late 2008, Harpo Films signed an exclusive output pact with HBO.[15] Previously, Harpo Films had a deal with ABC, which included production of Oprah Winfrey Presents: Mitch Albom's For One More Day.[15] In February 2013, Harpo Films was shut down, citing that "the demand for long-form projects, especially on the broadcast side, has dried out."[16] Many of its employees will move on to Harpo Studios' new scripted series division.[16]

Feature Films[edit]

Telefilms[edit]

Harpo Radio, Inc.[edit]

Former XM 156 / SR 195 Logo as Oprah and Friends

Harpo Radio, Inc. was the holding company for the Oprah & Friends channel (156 on XM Satellite Radio). Oprah & Friends featured a broad range of daily and weekly programming on a variety of topics including self-improvement, nutrition, fitness, parenting, health, home, finance and current events hosted by personalities from The Oprah Winfrey Show and O, The Oprah Magazine.

Regular presenters included specialists from a variety of fields, including Dr. Maya Angelou, Dr. Robin Smith, Marianne Williamson, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Bob Greene, Nate Berkus, Jean Chatzky, Gayle King, Rabbi Shumley Boteach, Holly Robinson Peete and Rodney Peete, and Michael Losier. Oprah, herself, also personally interviewed some of the most influential voices in the spiritual realm on her weekly program, Oprah's Soul Series.

Harpo Radio, Inc. produced and broadcast the Oprah & Friends channel from an XM studio in Chicago, Illinois, from New York, New York. The service shut down on January 1, 2015.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Rose, Lacey. "Oprah Winfrey on Closing Harpo Studios, OWN Expansion, Broadway Plans". www.HollywoodReporter.com. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Channick, Robert. "Harpo studios to close in December, officials say". www.ChicagoTribune.com. Tribune Publishing. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  3. ^ "Harpo Inc. | Private Stock: Annual Report & Profile:PrivCo". privco.com. PrivCo. 
  4. ^ "Oprah Winfrey: she invented skirtsHome". urbanhuster.com. Urban Hustler. 
  5. ^ a b http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/oprah-winfrey-channel-siriusxm-air-article-1.2070226
  6. ^ a b c Flint, Joe (December 4, 2017). "Oprah Winfrey Sells Part of Stake in OWN Network to Discovery; Discovery will control 70% of OWN after purchase of stake for $70 million". The Wall Street Journal Online. Retrieved December 5, 2017. 
  7. ^ a b Smith, Gerry (December 4, 2017). "Discovery Boosts Its Stake in Oprah Winfrey Network". Bloomberg. Retrieved December 5, 2017. 
  8. ^ "The Oprah Winfrey Show trivia", Oprah.com. Retrieved 2008-07-28.
  9. ^ Colander, Pat (1989-03-12). "Oprah Winfrey's Odyssey: Talk-Show Host to Mogul". The New York Times. 
  10. ^ "O, The Oprah Magazine," May 2015, p. 190.
  11. ^ "Harpo Studios Announces the Formation of Harpo Creative Works", Oprah.com, June 22, 2010.
  12. ^ Pérez-Peña, Richard (2008-11-08). "Hearst to Close Its Spinoff of O, the Oprah Magazine". The New York Times. 
  13. ^ "Oprah's OWN Network Launch Draws Solid Reviews Even From The Cynics". Business Insider. Retrieved 2017-09-07. 
  14. ^ http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-harpo-studios-demolition-20160726-story.html
  15. ^ a b Frankel, Daniel (2008-12-16). "Oprah Winfrey pacts with HBO". Variety. 
  16. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie. "Harpo Films Prez Kate Forte Out As Harpo Shifts Attention From Films To Scripted TV." Deadline.com (February 11, 2013).

External links[edit]


Coordinates: 41°53′00″N 87°39′13″W / 41.8833°N 87.6537°W / 41.8833; -87.6537