|Type||Subsidiary of Harpo, Inc.|
|Founded||1986 (Chicago, Illinois)|
Number of employees
|Parent||Harpo, Inc. (privately-held)|
Harpo Productions (or Harpo Studios) is an American multimedia production company founded by Oprah Winfrey and based in West Hollywood, California. It is the sole subsidiary of her media and entertainment company Harpo, Inc. The name "Harpo" is "Oprah" spelled backwards, and it was also the name of her on-screen husband in The Color Purple.
Harpo Productions' subsidiaries consist of Harpo Print, the company's publishing house, and a minority interest in cable network Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) — in 2017, Discovery Communications purchased 24.5% of OWN for $70 million, leaving Harpo with 25.5% ownership. Harpo previously controlled 50% of OWN.
Past subsidiaries include Harpo Films, the company's film studio which shut down in early 2013, and Harpo Radio, the company's radio broadcasting division that shuttered on January 1, 2015. The company was previously based in Chicago, with Harpo Studios situated in the West Loop of the Near West Side neighborhood. The building was demolished in 2016, and new headquarters for McDonald's opened on the site in 2018.
In January 2021, it was announced that Harpo Productions will produce an Oprah Winfrey documentary for Apple TV+.
Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN)
On January 1, 2011, the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) launched. It is co-owned by Harpo Studios (25.5%) and Discovery Communications, Inc (74.5%). The network replaced the Discovery Health Channel, a cable channel previously owned by Discovery Communications, Inc. The network initially had 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.
Harpo Print, LLC
Together with Hearst Magazines, Harpo Print, LLC publishes O, The Oprah Magazine. The company also published O at Home, which Hearst officially folded in 2008 after a four-year run. In July 2020, it was announced that O, The Oprah Magazine will end its regular print edition after the December 2020 issue. The December 2020 of O Magazine featured an article where Oprah thanked readers and also acknowledged it was the magazine's "final monthly print edition."
Harpo Studios was the home of The Oprah Winfrey Show from January 15, 1990. 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. The site would be home to the new global headquarters of McDonald's.
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. The 88,000-square-foot (8,200 m2) facility was renovated and opened in the late 1980s for her show.
Harpo Films, Inc.
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. Previously, Harpo Films had a deal with ABC, which included production of Oprah Winfrey Presents: Mitch Albom's For One More Day. In February 2013, Harpo Films was shut down, citing that "the demand for long-form projects, especially on the broadcast side, has dried out." Many of its employees will move on to Harpo Studios' new scripted series division.
- Beloved (1998)
- The Great Debaters (2007)
- Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (2009)
- The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014)
- Selma (under Harpo Productions, 2014)
- The Water Man (2020)
- Oprah Winfrey Presents: Mitch Albom's For One More Day
- Tuesdays with Morrie
- Their Eyes Were Watching God
- Amy & Isabelle
- David & Lisa
- The Wedding
- Before Women Had Wings
Harpo Radio, Inc.
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, Marianne Williamson, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Bob Greene, Nate Berkus, Jean Chatzky, Gayle King, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, and Holly Robinson Peete and Rodney Peete. Oprah, herself, also personally interviewed some of the most influential voices in the spiritual realm on her weekly program, Oprah's Soul Series.
- Rose, Lacey. "Oprah Winfrey on Closing Harpo Studios, OWN Expansion, Broadway Plans". www.HollywoodReporter.com. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved June 7, 2015.
- Channick, Robert. "Harpo studios to close in December, officials say". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved June 7, 2015.
- "Harpo Inc. | Private Stock: Annual Report & Profile:PrivCo". privco.com. PrivCo.
- "Oprah Winfrey: she invented skirtsHome". Urban Hustler.
- 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.
- Smith, Gerry (December 4, 2017). "Discovery Boosts Its Stake in Oprah Winfrey Network". Bloomberg. Retrieved December 5, 2017.
- Hinckley, David. "Oprah Winfrey's SiriusXM channel goes off the air". nydailynews.com.
- Koziarz, Jay (August 2, 2016). "Demolition of the former Harpo Studios building closes a chapter of Chicago history". Curbed Chicago.
- "An Oprah Winfrey Documentary Is Being Produced For Release On Apple TV+". Black Enterprise. January 15, 2021. Retrieved January 16, 2021.
- "Oprah's OWN Network Launch Draws Solid Reviews Even From The Cynics". Business Insider. Retrieved September 7, 2017.
- "Harpo Studios Announces the Formation of Harpo Creative Works", Oprah.com, June 22, 2010.
- Pérez-Peña, Richard (November 8, 2008). "Hearst to Close Its Spinoff of O, the Oprah Magazine". The New York Times.
- "Oprah's O Mag to end regular print editions after 20 years". AP NEWS. July 27, 2020.
- ARBEL, TALI (July 28, 2020). "Oprah's O Mag to end regular print editions after 20 years". Chron.
- Winfrey, Oprah (November 17, 2020). "Oprah Thanks Readers of O in the Magazine's Last Monthly Issue". O, the Oprah Magazine. Retrieved December 17, 2020.
- Bomkamp, Samantha. "Harpo Studios demolished to make room for new McDonald's headquarters". Chicago Tribune.
- "The Oprah Winfrey Show trivia", Oprah.com. Retrieved 2008-07-28.
- Colander, Pat (March 12, 1989). "Oprah Winfrey's Odyssey: Talk-Show Host to Mogul". The New York Times.
- Frankel, Daniel (December 16, 2008). "Oprah Winfrey pacts with HBO". Variety.
- Andreeva, Nellie. "Harpo Films Prez Kate Forte Out As Harpo Shifts Attention From Films To Scripted TV". Deadline Hollywood (February 11, 2013).
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