Oprah Shutting Down Chicago's Harpo Studios

Production being shifted to West Coast
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 4, 2015 1:25 AM CST
Updated Mar 4, 2015 7:00 AM CST
In this May 24, 2011, photo, members of the studio audience wait outside Harpo Studios before the final taping of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in Chicago.   (AP Photo/Paul Beaty, File)
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(Newser) – Chicago is losing a big piece of its broadcasting history—and around 200 jobs—with the closure of Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Studios. Winfrey came to Chicago yesterday to tell staff in person that production work for Oprah Winfrey Network shows like Super Soul Sunday and Oprah's Master Class is being shifted to OWN headquarters in West Hollywood and that the Chicago facility will be completely shut down by December, reports the Chicago Tribune. The West Loop facility hosted Winfrey's talk show from 1990 until it finished in 2011.

Chicago has "been everything for me," Winfrey tells the Hollywood Reporter. "I've spent more hours in this building than I have any other building on Earth. We were here when there was nothing but hoes and rats on the street, and now it's one of the hottest neighborhoods" in the city she says, adding that it "will be sad to say goodbye, but I look ahead with such a knowing that what the future holds is even more than I can see." Staffers say there might not be enough TV jobs in Chicago for people affected by the closure and some people are going to have to seek work in New York or Los Angeles, the Tribune reports.

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