When it comes to the biggest stars of Hollywood, Oprah Winfrey is easily one of the most influential and successful of them all. Many grew to love and follow her career as a host and producer of The Oprah Winfrey Show.
The TV personality has enlightened and entertained millions of viewers for decades. Today, she is credited for her accomplishments in establishing a media empire and being an admired and respected cultural icon.
That being said, it is worthwhile to look back at Oprah’s long-running career as one of the most celebrated public figures in the industry. So, here is a summary of her career thus far.
Before Oprah even began studying for a degree, she had already started her broadcasting career in Nashville at WVOL radio. After gaining much-needed experience in her high school radio broadcast, she became the youngest and first African-American woman to anchor at WTVF-TV.
The budding host then moved to Baltimore to co-anchor the Six-O’Clock News, where she’d garner further media attention. Not long after, in 1984, Oprah relocated once again to Chicago to host the morning talk show AM Chicago.
Rise to Fame and Fortune
A month after Oprah took over AM Chicago, the talk show rose towards the top ratings. The network then took its investments to reformat the show to a longer format and even renamed it The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Oprah’s talk show officially made national syndication back in 1986 and soon became the highest-rated talk show in American TV history. A couple of years at the top, the prominent talk show established Harpo Studios, officially becoming the third woman in American entertainment to own her own studio.
The Oprah Winfrey Show, now produced by Harpo Studios, enjoyed over 25 years on the air and catered to more than 40 million Americans. Moreover, it was also licensed to 150 other countries worldwide.
Cementing a Media Legacy
In 2008, the internationally famous talk show and Discovery Communications pooled their investments to establish OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. The media network revolved around Oprah’s leadership in attracting superstar talents and building a global community of like-minded viewers.
In 2011, OWN, in partnership with Harpo Inc and Discovery Communications, debuted on over 85 million homes. Oprah serves as the network’s Chief Creative Officer, Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman.
Oprah also created Lifeclass, which is a multi-platform experience catered to millions of students from 200 different countries, engaging with the talk show host on-air, through social media, and online. Moreover, the series also airs on Oprah.com and Facebook, featuring a digital classroom fully equipped with course work to go along episode themes.
Apart from shows, Oprah is also credited for owning a lifestyle magazine, O, The Oprah Magazine, which she started with Hearst magazine back in 2000.
Of course, Oprah’s media empire wouldn’t be complete without going into films. Her company’s arm into movies, Harpo Films, produced projects, adapting from contemporary and classic literature. It goes without saying that the best of these projects have garnered the highest industry honors for their production and acting. These films include Tuesdays With Morrie, Their Eyes Were Watching God, and For One More Day.
As much success Oprah has gained in the industry, she has also made it a point to help people in need. The Queen of Media is a philanthropist best credited for founding The Oprah Winfrey Foundation.
She believes that education is a clear path to freedom. Her private charity has awarded several grants to different organizations that support education and advocate for the empowerment of women, families, and children around the world.
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