Harpo Productions

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Harpo Productions, Inc.
Subsidiary of Harpo, Inc.
Founded1986 (Chicago, Illinois)
FounderOprah Winfrey
HeadquartersChicago, 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)
ProductsThe Oprah Winfrey Show
Dr. Phil
Rachael Ray
The Dr. Oz Show
The Nate Berkus Show
The Rosie Show
Super Soul Sunday
Iyanla: Fix My Life
Oprah Prime
Oprah: Where Are They Now?
Oprah's Master Class
Oprah's Lifeclass
OwnerOprah Winfrey[3][4]
Number of employees
12,554 (2012)
ParentHarpo, Inc. (privately-held)
DivisionsHarpo Print
Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN)
(JV with Discovery, Inc.; Discovery holds a controlling stake, while Harpo is considered a "significant" minority shareholder)

Harpo Productions (also referred to as Harpo Studios) is an American multimedia production company founded by Oprah Winfrey and based in West Hollywood, California.[1][2] 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,[5][6] leaving Harpo with 25.5% ownership. Harpo previously controlled 50% of OWN.[5][6][5][6]

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.[7] 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.[8]


Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN)[edit]

Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) logo

On January 1, 2011, the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) launched.[9] It is co-owned by Harpo Studios (25.5%) and Discovery Communications, Inc (74.5%).[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[edit]

Together with Hearst Magazines, Harpo Print, LLC publishes O, The Oprah Magazine.[10] The company also published O at Home, which Hearst officially folded in 2008 after a four-year run.[11] In July 2020, it was announced that O, The Oprah Magazine will end its regular print edition after the December 2020 issue.[12][13]

Other properties[edit]

Harpo Studios[edit]

Marquee above entrance at the former Harpo Studios in Chicago (on a site now used by McDonald's as its global headquarters)
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, 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.[14] 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.[15] The 88,000-square-foot (8,200 m2) facility was renovated and opened in the late 1980s for her show.[16]

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.[17] Previously, Harpo Films had a deal with ABC, which included production of Oprah Winfrey Presents: Mitch Albom's For One More Day.[17] In February 2013, Harpo Films was shut down, citing that "the demand for long-form projects, especially on the broadcast side, has dried out."[18] Many of its employees will move on to Harpo Studios' new scripted series division.[18]

Feature Films[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, 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. It shut down on January 1, 2015.[7]


  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 c d 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.
  6. ^ a b c Smith, Gerry (December 4, 2017). "Discovery Boosts Its Stake in Oprah Winfrey Network". Bloomberg. Retrieved December 5, 2017.
  7. ^ a b http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/oprah-winfrey-channel-siriusxm-air-article-1.2070226
  8. ^ https://chicago.curbed.com/2016/8/2/12353448/west-loop-development-mcdonalds-harpo-studios-demolition
  9. ^ "Oprah's OWN Network Launch Draws Solid Reviews Even From The Cynics". Business Insider. Retrieved 2017-09-07.
  10. ^ "Harpo Studios Announces the Formation of Harpo Creative Works", Oprah.com, June 22, 2010.
  11. ^ Pérez-Peña, Richard (2008-11-08). "Hearst to Close Its Spinoff of O, the Oprah Magazine". The New York Times.
  12. ^ https://apnews.com/de998fe469fcfb2c28aa89ee7445f050
  13. ^ https://www.chron.com/business/article/Oprah-s-O-Mag-to-end-regular-print-editions-15439762.php
  14. ^ https://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-harpo-studios-demolition-20160726-story.html
  15. ^ "The Oprah Winfrey Show trivia", Oprah.com. Retrieved 2008-07-28.
  16. ^ Colander, Pat (1989-03-12). "Oprah Winfrey's Odyssey: Talk-Show Host to Mogul". The New York Times.
  17. ^ a b Frankel, Daniel (2008-12-16). "Oprah Winfrey pacts with HBO". Variety.
  18. ^ 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