WBEZ | Oprah http://www.wbez.org/tags/oprah Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en The state of Harpo Studios http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-02/state-harpo-studios-105575 <p><p><img 2011.="" alt="" class="image-original_image" honor="" in="" legacy="" may="" oprah="" s="" show="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/harpo-way.jpg" style="height: 419px; width: 620px; " talk="" the="" title="The block of Harpo Studios in Chicago was named &quot;Oprah Winfrey Way&quot; to honor the talk show queen's legacy in May 2011. (NBCNews) " to="" winfrey="" /></p><p>If Chicago declared a patron saint for media coverage, no one person (save the current President of the United States) would be more fitting of such an honor than Oprah Winfrey.&nbsp;</p><p>Her daily talk show, taped at <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harpo_Productions" target="_blank">Harpo Studios</a> on the Near West Side from 1986 to 2011,<em>&nbsp;</em>drew&nbsp;an average of <a href="http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2007/12/07/4425062-breaking-down-oprahs-numbers?lite" target="_blank">7.4 million viewers</a> per day and was nationally syndicated for 25 wildly successful seasons. Her 2008 endorsement of then-Senator Barack Obama for president all but cemented his seat in the Oval Office, her 2009&nbsp;<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3R9YPLOmZJc" target="_blank">surprise Black Eyed Peas concert</a> swamped Michigan Avenue with a flash mob of <a href="http://www.oprah.com/entertainment/Oprahs-Kickoff-Party-Flash-Mob-Dance" target="_blank">over 20,000 people</a> and her final season culminated in a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/17/oprahs-star-studded-farew_n_863220.html#s280239" target="_blank">star-studded extravanagza</a>&nbsp;(oh, hey Michael Jordan, Beyoncé and Stevie Wonder!) that nearly blew the roof off Chicago&#39;s United Center.</p><p>She was our Mama O, and we haven&#39;t had someone of her lightning-in-a-bottle dynamism to rally around since.</p><p>After the last Chicago taping of&nbsp;<em>The Oprah Winfrey Show</em> in May 2011, Oprah moved to Montecito, California to run her new cable channel <a href="http://www.oprah.com/own" target="_blank">OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network</a>.&nbsp;Harpo Studios tried to pick up the pieces by launching&nbsp;<em><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rosie_Show" target="_blank">The Rosie Show</a>&nbsp;</em>in its place&nbsp;that&nbsp;October, but the evening talk program starring actress/comedian Rosie O&#39;Donnell suffered from dismally low ratings and was&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thehollywoodgossip.com/2012/03/rosie-odonnell-show-cancelled-by-own-described-as-f-king-hellhol/" target="_blank">cancelled</a>&nbsp;by OWN after only one season.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/rosie-odonnell-oprah.jpg" style="float: right; " title="Oprah and Rosie before OWN's cancellation of &quot;The Rosie Show&quot; in March 2012. (RadarOnline) " /></p><p>According to <a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/03/17/rosie-o-donnell-s-disastrous-oprah-winfrey-network-experience.html" target="_blank">this article</a> from the Daily Beast, <em>The Rosie Show</em> was a disastrous experience for everyone involved (&quot;a f*cking hellhole,&quot; allegedly) and proved to be yet another disappointment for Oprah&#39;s fledging network. OWN struggled to connect with audiences since its premiere in January 2011, prompting a major overhaul of low-rated programming and numerous staff replacements over the next two years.&nbsp;</p><p>The channel&#39;s losses were estimated to be <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/07/oprah-own-losses-vein_n_1495878.html" target="_blank">$330 million</a> as of May 2012; however, the much-publicized <em>Oprah&#39;s Next Chapter</em> series has provided a sizable ratings boost. And after a raise in OWN&#39;s <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retransmission_consent" target="_blank">retransmission consent fee</a> (the channel was given to cable providers practically for free during its first year on air) the network expects to break even in 2013.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Oprah-Lance_WashingtonPost.jpg" style="float: left; " title="&quot;Oprah's Next Chapter&quot; with Lance Armstrong--in which the seven-time Tour de France winner admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs--was a ratings hit, with over 3.2 million viewers tuning in to OWN on January 17, 2013. (ABCNews) " /></div><p>So while Oprah&#39;s career post-Chicago got off to a rocky start, recent sit-downs with <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/21/rihanna-oprah-interview_n_1817559.html" target="_blank">Rihanna</a> and <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/lance-armstrong-oprah-interview-doping-confession-winfrey-18246627" target="_blank">Lance Armstrong</a> have helped cement her status as a top interviewer.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mediabistro.com/tvnewser/heres-the-katie-couric-we-havent-seen-in-a-while_b164140" target="_blank">Katie Couric</a> tries, but she doesn&#39;t have the majestic &quot;it&quot; factor that Oprah possesses in spades.&nbsp;</p><p>My two cents: OWN should tape more shows in Chicago. Oprah&#39;s celebrity interviews are entertaining, revealing and a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/tv/2013/01/18/oprah-lance-armstrong-ratings/1845373/" target="_blank">huge ratings</a>&nbsp;coup&nbsp;for her network, but I&#39;d like to see her take on Chicago&#39;s struggles with <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/chicago-school-closings" target="_blank">public schools</a>&nbsp;and <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-01-31/news/chi-hadiya-pendleton-20130130_1_gun-laws-gun-violence-gun-control" target="_blank">gun violence</a> from her old stomping grounds at Harpo Studios. These local issues should matter on a national level, and having Oprah in our corner could help to bring about the positive change we need (or at least, a high-profile media platform to spread awareness in moving forward).&nbsp;</p><p>The 2013&nbsp;<a href="http://\www.oprah.com/pressroom/OWN-Announces-New-Programming-2013-and-2012-Ratings-Gain" target="_blank">lineup</a>&nbsp;for OWN&nbsp;includes four new original series, a half-hour sitcom and a one-hour scripted drama from Tyler Perry, all filmed in either Atlanta or Los Angeles. Personally, I would love to see more Harpo productions&nbsp;occupying the soundstages here in Chicago, instead of producers always relegating their forces to the overutilized backdrops of Hollywood.</p><p>Also, new episodes of<em> Oprah&#39;s Master Class, Oprah: Where Are They Now?</em>&nbsp;and <em>Oprah&#39;s Next Chapter&nbsp;</em>should feature more&nbsp;Chicago talent. The first people that come to mind: local production designers, editors, musicians, artists, graphic designers, personal chefs and camera crews that had steady employment when Oprah was in&nbsp;town, and have struggled to find work since.&nbsp;</p><p>Has Oprah forgotten about us? When former&nbsp;Mayor Richard M. Daley named the block of Harpo Studios &quot;Oprah Winfrey Way&quot; in May 2011, the talk show queen declared the honor &quot;better than an Oscar or an Emmy.&quot;</p><blockquote><p>&quot;It is really just a full circle, a miracle story,&quot; said Winfrey, &quot;that a little colored girl born in Kosciusko, Mississippi on a red dirt road ends up with my name on a street in the greatest city in the world, Chicago.&quot;</p></blockquote><p>The legendary studio still stands at <a href="http://www.yelp.com/biz/harpo-inc-chicago" target="_blank">1058 W. Washington Boulevard</a>, but who knows how long it will remain. The film division of Harpo<a href="http://www.deadline.com/interstitial/?ref=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.deadline.com%2F2013%2F02%2Fharpo-films-prez-kate-forte-out-as-harpo-shifts-attention-from-films-to-scripted-tv%2F" target="_blank"> just folded</a>, and most of the scripted shows are based in California. Will the lingering effects of Oprah&#39;s legacy last much longer, as her once constant presence in Chicago becomes more of a distant memory with each passing year?&nbsp;</p><p>We all know how much Oprah loves giving back (&quot;<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CAscBCdaQg" target="_blank">You get a car! You get a car!</a>&quot; &quot;<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzYPJV9LtJg" target="_blank">AUSTRALIAAA!</a>&quot;and the once annual freakout spectacular &quot;<a href="http://youtube.com/watch?v=t1HxdxRc9UY" target="_blank">My Favorite Things!</a>&quot;) so here&#39;s hoping that she will return to &quot;the greatest city in the world&quot; with open arms.&nbsp;</p><p>Confession: I can&#39;t stand the Black Eyed Peas, but I watched this entire video in awe.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/dbTb4-ShtsQ" width="620"></iframe></p><p><em>Follow Leah on Twitter <a href="http://twitter.com/leahkpickett" target="_blank">@leahkpickett</a> or add her on <a href="http://www.facebook.com/leahkristinepickett">Facebook</a>.&nbsp;</em></p></p> Tue, 19 Feb 2013 08:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-02/state-harpo-studios-105575 OWN network cuts one-fifth of its staff http://www.wbez.org/story/own-network-cuts-one-fifth-its-staff-97469 <p><div>Oprah Winfrey's television network, OWN, has announced it is laying off one-fifth of its workers.&nbsp;The television network has seen its share of struggles since it launched in January of last year. Rosie O'Donnell is scheduled to tape her final show today in Chicago after it was cancelled last week. The network announced Monday it was laying off 30 workers and restructuring operations in New York and Los Angeles.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>"As we started to have some more ratings momentum, and the ratings started improving, we needed to address our cost structure so we could actually have the business be incredibly profitable moving forward into the future and having a place that would continue this momentum," said Erik Jacobs, co-president of HARPO and OWN networks.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Winfrey, CEO and chief creative officer of the network, responded to the decision in a statement Monday.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>"It is difficult to make tough business decisions that affect people’s lives," she said. "But the economics of a start-up cable network just don’t work with the cost structure that was in place. As CEO, I have a responsibility to chart the course for long-term success for the network. To wholly achieve that long-term success, this was a necessary next step."</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The recent lay-offs don't include the 40 or so Chicago jobs that will be lost from the cancellation of&nbsp;<em>The Rosie Show</em>. The show, which will air it's final episode on March 30th, filmed in HARPO studios in Chicago's West Loop.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Jacob says the space will continue to produce content for the OWN network. He estimates around 70 hours of television will be produced each week. The studio will also be home to a new OWN show, featuring Iyanla Vanzant. Production has yet to be scheduled for her show.</div></p> Tue, 20 Mar 2012 19:22:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/own-network-cuts-one-fifth-its-staff-97469 Videos: The greatest moments of Chicago's greatest baseball manager, Ozzie Guillen http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-09-27/videos-greatest-moments-chicagos-greatest-baseball-manager-ozzie-gui <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-September/2011-09-27/AP080805017706.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-27/AP080805017706.jpg" title="(AP)" width="383" height="512"></p><p>Ozzie Guillen is out as the manager of the Chicago White Sox. How do we feel, Chicago? Sure, he has underachieved since the World Series in '05, but there was a World Series in '05. Sure, he annoyed us with his 'woe is me' act, but his act was the best in baseball. Sure, he said too much. But hell, it was never too much.</p><p>Ozzie Guillen spent enough time in Chicago as a player, coach and local celebrity to be placed in a very elite class. Ditka, Royko, Oprah, Daley, Harold, Ernie, Rhino, Walter, Billy Corgan, Ozzie Guillen. Not to mention that we might be the most famous Latino in Chicago history.</p><p>But will he stay that way? Or will he move on and be a footnote in Chicago history? Something says Ozzie won't keep roots in the area. Something tells me he has been longing to go to Miami for years. But will Chicagoans remember him? Will we have Ozzie statues at the Cell and Ozzie honorary street signs?</p><p>Or will it take one Cubs World Series run for collective Chicago to forget him?</p><p>I really enjoyed Ozzie Guillen's time in Chicago. I have a soft spot for the manager with the big mouth. Why? It's because baseball can be a lot like politics. And nobody likes that. It seems like baseball and most professional sports go out of their way to limit information and spin everything to the media masses. It's not about who you are, but what you say and how you look. The media is not your friend. You play this game in spite of the media.</p><p>But then there's Ozzie. He seemed to embrace his role as the spokesperson and court jester of the South Side squad. He may or may not have liked the media, but he seemed to know that the media was the best way for him to continually entertain his team's fans. Whether it was a well-timed rant or a strange tirade, Ozzie made headlines like a baker makes bread. It was second nature.</p><p>During the waning days of old Comiskey, I went to a game and was fortunate to catch a foul ball. It was from the bat of Ozzie Guillen, who attempted a bunt and popped it up behind first base. It hit my friend's dad in the arm (because he had two beers in his hands) and ricocheted into my hands. I'm sure my friend's Dad was mad, but he couldn't take the ball from a 12 year old. So the only foul ball I ever caught was from Ozzie Guillen.</p><p>And don't forget Ozzie's penchant for local show biz. Ozzie's radio spots and famed Crosstown Classic Subway commercials were downright hilarious. They were hilarious because of his delivery, mostly. He was a classic showman who took acting seriously. In other words, he tried so hard:</p><p>Here are some other great moments in Ozzie Guillen history (from a simple search of YouTube):</p><p>Ozzie was a ham. He loved to be on camera or to be the center of attention. In this first famous clip, Ozzie plays a crucial role in coming to the aid of his catcher, AJ Pierzynski. AJ was doing wrestling in the offseason and then taped a quick bit at spring training with a wrestler/announcer. Yep, you guessed it: Ozzie actually hits someone with a chair.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/mj50-Iy2GCk" width="560" frameborder="0" height="410"></iframe></p><p>With Ozzie's departure, we lose a time honored tradition of having our coaches and local sports celebrities hawking cars. Lovie does it a bit, but for the most part you aren't seeing Tom Thibideaux or Mike Quade telling you about low APR financing. That's becoming a relic of local Chicago. But Ozzie had some of the best commercials in the history of local cars.&nbsp; I am looking for the Chevrolet radio spots, but this was might take the cake. It's an awesome "South Side/North Side" Dodge rap commercial. Could someone please write a sitcom for Pinella and Guillen?</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Bz0sSz-rfRw" width="560" frameborder="0" height="410"></iframe></p><p>And of course, here's one for Chevy:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/bA97yi6g8JA" width="560" frameborder="0" height="315"></iframe></p><p>And how bout a classic expletive-laden rant: This was expected from Ozzie about nine times a year. In this clip, he just doesn't seem to care that the cameras are rolling. Vintage Ozzie:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/X6Mho9Xm_R4" width="560" frameborder="0" height="315"></iframe></p><p>Ozzie had a great little act going with umpire Joe West. West didn't like Ozzie's antics and routinely threw him out of games. After one ejection, Ozzie goes off in the locker room and throws out the famous quote: 'Nobody comes to the park to watch Joe West umpire...'</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/e0NpByX9zJA" width="560" frameborder="0" height="410"></iframe></p><p>Ozzie never pulled punches when it came to commenting on news or celebrity. He seemed to thrive off giving his opinion, most notably about his home country of Venezuela. He made headlines by going after actor Sean Penn, who was on a pro-Venezuelan press blitz at the time. Ozzie took umbrage.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/MQDePpREDDg" width="560" frameborder="0" height="315"></iframe></p><p>As I watched these clips, I realized just how important Ozzie Guillen has been to the White Sox and the city of Chicago. Not just as a manager, but a South Side super hero. It's a sad day in Chicago. But hopefully, he will chart a course that will keep him in Chicago's hearts forever.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/1Oa7ZyzS4VM" width="560" frameborder="0" height="410"></iframe></p></p> Tue, 27 Sep 2011 15:54:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-09-27/videos-greatest-moments-chicagos-greatest-baseball-manager-ozzie-gui May headlines in review: Mayor Rahm Emanuel arrives and Oprah departs http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-05-31/may-headlines-review-mayor-rahm-emanuel-arrives-and-oprah-departs-87219 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-May/2011-05-31/Rahm Getty Frank Polich.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The summer season may not yet be official, but Memorial Day Weekend had plenty of folks arriving and departing. That was the theme throughout the month of May. Chicago's new <a href="http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/mayor/supp_info/about_the_mayor.html" target="_blank">Mayor Rahm Emanuel</a> arrived at City Hall and <a href="http://www.oprah.com/index.html" target="_blank">Oprah</a> departed, leaving a huge vacancy in Chicago’s field of media queens. Never mind all the extra comings and goings at the Dirksen Federal Building, with two major trials underway.<br> <br> To sort out all of the news that was, <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> was joined by a panel of esteemed journalists who spend their days in and out of the office.</p><p>Kristen McQueary is state government reporter for WBEZ and the Chicago News Cooperative, Natalie Moore is WBEZ’s South Side bureau reporter and Ammad Omar is WBEZ's News Desk Editor.</p><p><em>Music Button: Shawn Lee's Ping Pong Orchestra, "Brazilian Glam Slam", from the CD Miles of Styles, (Ubiquity)</em></p></p> Tue, 31 May 2011 13:49:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-05-31/may-headlines-review-mayor-rahm-emanuel-arrives-and-oprah-departs-87219 Chicago's post-Oprah star power http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-05-25/chicagos-post-oprah-star-power-87011 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-May/2011-05-25/Oprah Getty Daniel Boczarski.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>For 25 years, legions of celebrities have found their way onto, or on top of, <a href="http://www.oprah.com/index.html" target="_blank">Oprah’s</a> couch. Now that Chicago’s most famous attraction is moving on, what does that mean for the Windy City’s celebrity status?</p><p>To answer that question, <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> spoke to <a href="http://blogs.redeyechicago.com/kyles-files/" target="_blank">Kyra Kyles</a>; she keeps an eye on pop culture for the <em>Chicago Tribune’s RedEye</em>.</p><p><em>Music Button: Robert Sharples, "Big Show Theme", from the CD Ren and Stimpy Production Music, (N/A)</em></p></p> Wed, 25 May 2011 13:57:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-05-25/chicagos-post-oprah-star-power-87011 Oprah's stealth philanthropy in Chicago http://www.wbez.org/story/oprahs-stealth-philanthropy-chicago-86823 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-May/2011-05-20/011.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago and Oprah Winfrey go hand-in-hand.</p><p>She built a TV empire here, and there’s no doubt that the media mogul has been a booster for the Windy City.</p><p>Oprah lovers make the pilgrimage to her studio, contributing to tourism with dining and hotel stays along the way.</p><p>But her legacy is bigger than an economic engine to Chicago.</p><p>Oprah's philanthropic legacy in Chicago is vast, but under the radar.</p><p><em>ambi: water fountain outside Millennium Park </em></p><p><em>ambi fades</em></p><p>There aren’t that many places or things named after Oprah in Chicago, but one of them’s going to last a long time. I’m looking for it in downtown Chicago’s Millennium Park, a showpiece on Michigan Avenue. &nbsp;Here it is Oprah Winfrey name in all caps on a wall. It lists the founders of this enormous park.</p><p>Oprah gave a million dollars of her own money to make this park happen, but that’s a fraction of her largesse.</p><p>The exact figures for Oprah’s philanthropic impact in Chicago are hard to pinpoint, but one person with some insight on the big picture – is former mayor Richard M. Daley.</p><p>DALEY: In so many different ways she’s given. Also quiet ways that no one really knows about. She doesn’t have to have great accolades about this. She just does it.</p><p>Well, that’s true, but Winfrey’s Harpo Production company says there <em>is</em> a ballpark figure, and here it is:</p><p>Oprah Winfrey has given more than <em>$350 million</em> during her lifetime.</p><p>Not all of that went to Chicago, of course.</p><p>Her production company Harpo provided a list of Chicago organizations that have benefited from the Oprah Winfrey Foundation and the Oprah Angel Network. According to the city, she gave $5 million to area nonprofits from the Angel Network.</p><p>But Harpo list doesn’t outline the rest of the money.</p><p>So I made some calls and got a few specifics on Oprah’s&nbsp; Chicago giving.</p><p>The Inspiration Café … which helps the homeless … got $10,000.</p><p>The Aids Foundation of Chicago got $45,000.</p><p>And LaRabida Children’s Hospital received $60,000 .</p><p><em>ambi: school lunchroom</em></p><p>Providence St. Mel is another organization affected by the Oprah touch.</p><p>It’s a private school on Chicago’s West Side that educates black students.</p><p>Adams: say you, young man, come here. Go in the bathroom and pull up your pants, if not, I’ll pull them up for you.</p><p>Paul Adams is the avuncular founder of Providence St. Mel. He says in 1993 Oprah came to the school’s annual fundraiser.</p><p>ADAMS: And Oprah Winfrey came up and made some statements that she had a sale of shoes. And she asked me to come and she gave me - I guess it was $597 and as I walked away she said, ‘well I have something else for you.’ And in her hand she had a check for $1 million dollars.</p><p>Adams was speechless. The money helped thrust the school in the digital age. She also narrated a documentary on Providence St. Mel.</p><p>ADAMS: I just think that Oprah is a combination of a lot of great people. If we had more Oprah Winfreys around this would indeed be a better world.</p><p>PALMER: One of the things that very unusual about Oprah is that she gives generously of her own money to charitable causes.</p><p>Stacy Palmer is editor of the Chronicle of Philanthropy.</p><p>PALMER: She gives so much that she ranks among the 50 biggest donors to charity and has done so for several years in a row and we just don’t see that very often with celebrities.</p><p>The other thing that makes Oprah remarkable is that she is black and female, and has her own money. Palmer says many women on the top 50 list inherited money from men.</p><p>||</p><p>In Chicago, Oprah’s checks run the gamut: Cabrini Connections; American Library Association; the DuSable Museum, Connections for Abused Women and their Children and Spanish Coalition for Jobs, Inc.&nbsp;</p><p>But several of Oprah’s most generous moments aren’t on the list. She once gave heaters to residents in the Robert Taylor high-rise public housing development. When she filmed a movie near Henry Horner – also a public housing development – she set up a scholarship program for youth.</p><p>Although Oprah is equated with Chicago, she wasn’t connected to the city socially. She didn’t frequent the local party, philanthropic or black-tie circuit. She saves some of that for Hollywood.&nbsp; The one place Chicagoans might get a glimpse is at her favorite restaurant – <em>RL</em> on Michigan Avenue.</p><p>Hermene Hartman publishes N’digo – a weekly that caters to Chicago’s well-heeled black middle class. Her office is blocks away from Harpo. Hartman says people call <em>her</em> -- itching to get to Oprah … and she understands Oprah’s low-key approach.</p><p>HARTMAN: I’m sure given her popularity whenever she does something it’s going to make the news, it’s going to have splash to it, it’s going to have sensation to that. You get tired of that, she’s got to live here.</p><p>The Harpo camp declined to give an interview about Oprah’s benevolence to Chicago.</p><p>But recently the daytime doyenne waxed lyrical about her adopted hometown.</p><p>This month, Mayor Daley unveiled an honorary street named: <em>Oprah Winfrey Way</em>.</p><p>WINFREY: I just would like to stay thank you to the mayor and also to the city of Chicago for embracing me and allowing me to take a stand and make a stand here in this city. After I moved here, I thought this place is my Tara.</p><p>Tara … That’s a reference to the movie ‘Gone With the Wind.’</p><p>Oprah went on with her reference to the classic film, saying the main character, Scarlett O’Hara, should’ve known about Chicago.</p><p>After all, in Oprah’s words, this is the greatest city in the world.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>The Oprah Winfrey Foundation grants to Chicago organizations</strong></p><p>100 Black Men of Chicago</p><p>Agassiz Elementary School</p><p>AIDS Foundation of Chicago</p><p>American Heart Association</p><p>Anti-Defamation League</p><p>Art Institute of Chicago</p><p>Athletes Against Drugs</p><p>Black Creativity</p><p>Building with Books (BwB)</p><p>Byrd Community Academy</p><p>Chicago Academy for the Arts</p><p>Chicago Global Donors Network</p><p>Chicago Public Library Foundation</p><p>Children's Memorial Foundation</p><p>City Year Chicago</p><p>Common Threads</p><p>Community Film Workshop</p><p>Cook County Public Guardian</p><p>CRIS Radio</p><p>Duncan YMCA</p><p>DuSable Museum</p><p>Gale Community Academy</p><p>Genesis House</p><p>Greater Chicago Food Depository</p><p>Healthy Families Chicago</p><p>Inspiration Café</p><p>La Rabida Childrens Hospital</p><p>Literacy Chicago</p><p>Marwen</p><p>Millennium Park, Inc</p><p>Museum of Broadcast Communications</p><p>NATAS Chicago Foundation</p><p>National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse</p><p>PEAK</p><p>People Reaching Out Center</p><p>Project Astro</p><p>Providence St. Mel</p><p>Rebecca Crown Center</p><p>Ryder Math/Science Specialty School</p><p>Scleroderma Research Foundation</p><p>Spanish Coalition for Jobs, Inc.</p><p>St. Joseph's Carondelet Child Center</p><p>St. Sabina</p><p>The Jesse Owens Foundation</p><p>The Ounce of Prevention Fund</p><p>The Shedd Aquarium</p><p>The Three Arts Club of Chicago</p><p>Uhlich Children's Advantage Network</p><p>Urban Prep Academies</p><p>Weizmann Institute of Science Rehovot, Israel</p><p>Windows of Opportunity</p><p>Young Women's Leadership Charter School of Chicago</p><p><strong>Oprah’s Angel Network - Chicago organizations</strong></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>A Little Bit of Heaven&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>American Library Association</p><p>America's Second Harvest&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>The CARA Program&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Centers For New Horizons Inc.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Communities in Schools of Chicago&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Connections for Abused Women and their Children&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Donors Forum of Chicago&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Friends of Battered Women and Their Children&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Girls In The Game&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Healthy Schools Campaign&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Heartland Alliance for Human Needs and Human Rights&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>LEARN Charter School Network&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Life Span&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Logan Square Neighborhood Association&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Lydia Home Association&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Merit School of Music</p><p>North Lawndale Employment Network&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Northwestern University Settlement Association&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Project Match Families Inc.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Reading in Motion&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Renaissance Schools Fund&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Target Hope College Preparatory Academy&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>University of Chicago Cancer Research Foundation</p><p>University of Illinois Foundation&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Women's Global Education Project&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p><em>Music Button: Max Steiner, Main Title/Tara's Theme, from the CD Gone With The Wind Original Soundtrack, (Rhino)</em></p><p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 23 May 2011 15:22:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/oprahs-stealth-philanthropy-chicago-86823 Bulls prep for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-05-18/cheryl-raye-stout-previews-game-2-eastern-conference-finals-86697 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-May/2011-05-18/Cheryl Getty Gregory Shamus.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>On Sunday, the Bulls beat down the Miami Heat. Everyone wants to know, will Wednesday's game, also in front of a hometown crowd, be a repeat? Wednesday's game comes a day after Oprah took over the United Center, to tape her final shows.<br> <br> But the Bulls are back preparing for round two. And while Oprah might have cruises and other prizes, Thibodeau’s secret weapon is his defense. To get a preview of Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals, <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> turned to Cheryl Raye-Stout.</p></p> Wed, 18 May 2011 14:27:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-05-18/cheryl-raye-stout-previews-game-2-eastern-conference-finals-86697 Morning Rehearsal: Chicago theater 5/18 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-05-18/morning-rehearsal-chicago-theater-518-86695 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-May/2011-05-18/Photo from SKALD 12 The Twelfth Annual SKALD Storytelling Competition.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>1. Oprah <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/redeye-suprise-oprah-a-farewell-spectacular-20110517,0,4918498.story">filmed two of her last three shows</a> at the United Center this week, in case you live under a rock. Thus far, two <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/another-juror-oprah-tix-86626">potential jurors</a> have been excused from jury duty because they had tickets to this over-the-top goodbye celebration.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-18/img_3252.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 548px;" title=""></p><p>2. The <a href="http://redmoonyouthspectacle.wordpress.com/2011/03/11/redmoon-youth-spectacle/">Redmoon Youth Spectacle</a> runs for three nights, starting tonight, at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. This impressive endeavor brings together over 750 students from multiple Chicago schools, and consists of youth created "curiosities" ranging from shadow animation to sound installation to performance. Side note:&nbsp;The museum also has a very realistic looking stuffed polar bear on display.</p><p>3.&nbsp;The&nbsp;<em>Sun-Times</em>&nbsp;and the&nbsp;<em>Tribune&nbsp;</em>face off over&nbsp;<em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-05-11/morning-rehearsal-chicago-theater-511-86380" style="color: rgb(2, 122, 198); text-decoration: none;">Murder for Two</a>.</em>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/stage/5412534-421/murder-for-two--a-killer-musical-delivers-fun-to-die-for.html" style="color: rgb(2, 122, 198); text-decoration: none;">Hedy Weiss called</a>&nbsp;it "indeed, a 'killer musical.'" But while&nbsp;<a href="http://leisureblogs.chicagotribune.com/the_theater_loop/2011/05/murder-for-two-chicago-shakespeare-tribune-review.html" style="color: rgb(2, 122, 198); text-decoration: none;">Chris Jones thought</a>&nbsp;the show had promise, he argued there was just not enough mystery in this murder mystery. "If you go to a murder mystery, you want to be involved in the actual mystery and try to figure it out for yourself.&nbsp;<em>Murder for Two</em>&nbsp;takes you a good way down that road but then flies off in a whole, new, campy direction. It's amusing but ultimately unsatisfying. We're all happy to laugh, but we also want to believe," Jones said.</p><p>4. <a href="http://www.annoyanceproductions.com/joleen/index.shtml"><em>Joleen: On Your Marks...</em></a> opens tomorrow at 9:30 at the Annoyance Theater, and they describe themselves as a long-form sketch duo. "Joleen" consists of Eileen Montelione and Joel Wiersema; you may recognize them from their&nbsp;<a href="http://sitandrun.com/">previous name</a>&nbsp;"Sit and Run."</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-18/Photo from SKALD 12 The Twelfth Annual SKALD Storytelling Competition.jpg" title="" width="320" height="350"></p><p>5.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.dcatheater.org/shows/show/skald_12_the_twelfth_annual_skald_storytelling_competition/">SKALD 12: THE TWELFTH ANNUAL SKALD STORYTELLING COMPETITION</a> has had workshops for children (KIDSKALD), adults (MAELSTROM) and professionals (SKALD 12) all week, with final performances this weekend (MAELSTROM&nbsp;Friday, May 20, at 7:30 pm / $15,&nbsp;KIDSKALD&nbsp;Saturday, May 21, at 3 pm / FREE, reservations encouraged,&nbsp;SKALD 12&nbsp;Saturday, May 21, at 7:30 pm / $20). It's all at the <a href="http://chicago.broadwayworld.com/article/DCA-Theater-Announces-SKALD-12-Storytelling-Festival-516-21-20110515">Chicago Cultural Center</a>, and though you may think the name SKALD sounds like a piece of Ikea furniture, it really comes from the ancient Scandanavian word for storyteller or poet.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email kdries@wbez.org.</p></p> Wed, 18 May 2011 14:17:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-05-18/morning-rehearsal-chicago-theater-518-86695 Morning Rehearsal: Chicago theater 5/9 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-05-09/morning-rehearsal-chicago-theater-59-86243 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-May/2011-05-09/56318562.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>1. It's really summer, because the summer performance season has begun. And tonight, the new performance collective Strong Works is beginning their monthly reading series "The Cannon: A Night of Performed Fiction", which will feature Chicago actors performing pieces chosen by Will Litton, fiction editor of <a href="http://www.wagsrevue.com/">Wag's Revue</a>, and Sam Nyhart, company member of Strong Works. What will "The Cannon" consist of? Expect to see "staged readings of new plays, genre-bending improv, engaging panel discussions, musical performances and more."&nbsp;The event is at <a href="http://www.yelp.com/biz/bonnys-chicago">Bonny's </a>in Logan Square at 9, and there will be jazz music, DJs and DANCING afterwards. $5 suggested donation.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img 2005="" alt="" class="caption" color="" getty="" in="" peter="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-09/56318562.jpg" style="width: 427px; height: 594px;" the="" title="Oprah at &quot;The Color Purple&quot; in 2005 (Getty/Peter Kramer)"></p><p>2. Who gave this sound bite: "But yes, this is really going to happen.&nbsp;... Life is too short."? It's Oprah, and&nbsp;<a href="http://leisureblogs.chicagotribune.com/the_theater_loop/2011/05/my-entry.html">Chris Jones reports</a> she wants to become a real actress (again). Winfrey's goal seem a little at odds with <a href="http://insidetv.ew.com/2011/05/06/oprah-winfrey-own/">her recent claim</a>&nbsp;to EW that her new network OWN is "not where I want it to be," due to the lack of time and energy she's been able to put into it. Winfrey explained to EW that once this final season of <em>The Oprah Show</em> was wrapped up, she would be devoting significantly more effort towards making OWN what it should be. Though her schedule will be much more free once she's out of her normal shooting schedule, the Queen of Media is clearly not slowing down at all.</p><p>3. <a href="http://www.theoubique.org/"><em>Some Enchanted Evening</em></a>, the Rogers and Hammerstein review at Theo Ubique Cabaret, has been extended through June 5. WBEZ's <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-04-01/combat-dueling-critics-%E2%80%9Cblack-watch%E2%80%9D-84570">Jonathan Abarbanel originally said</a> of the production that "The white, marbleized platform set is a bit overwhelming for the space but there’s no argument with music. No talk, no history of R&amp;H, just pure music and most of it familiar and all of it sung with heart."</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-09/goodnight-moon.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 429px;" title=""></p><p>4. New productions from <a href="http://www.chicagochildrenstheatre.org/">Chicago Children's Theatre</a> for 2011 to 2012 include <em>Good Night Moo</em>n and&nbsp;<em>Brown Bear, A Moon and A Caterpillar: Treasured Stories by Eric Carle</em>. You'll most likely recognize these as adaptations from either your favorite book as children, or that of your child who would not put them down.</p><p>5. I admittedly know little about opera, so let us leave it to the people who do: Andrew Patner has <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/stage/5255497-421/2-recitals-add-up-to-a-fine-program-for-chicago-opera-theater.html">a lovely review</a> of Chicago Opera Theater's latest program, desrcibing it as "musically very strong, even moving."</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email kdries@wbez.org.</p></p> Mon, 09 May 2011 14:13:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-05-09/morning-rehearsal-chicago-theater-59-86243 Blagojevich jury duty conflicting with Oprah show http://www.wbez.org/story/blagojevich-jury-duty-conflicting-oprah-show-85663 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-April/2011-04-25/AP05051105066- Seth Perlman.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A potential juror in the trial of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has tickets to a taping of the Oprah show and she's worried she won't be able to go if she's sitting in a federal courtroom hearing the Blagojevich case.&nbsp; Judge James Zagel said she'll survive missing the show, but her status is still up in the air.&nbsp; If she is picked for the jury, Zagel hasn't ruled out altering the court schedule to accomodate her.</p><p>So far, about two dozen potential jurors have made the cut to be on the jury.&nbsp; Zagel is looking to seat 12 jurors, plus six alternates, but that means he actually needs 40 qualified jurors because attorneys from both sides get to strike a certain number of people from the jury.&nbsp;</p><p>Many potential jurors have argued that they're not qualified to be in the pool of 40.&nbsp; They say sitting on the jury would be so hard on them economically that they wouldn't be able to focus, and therefore they wouldn't be fair.&nbsp; Others say they've already made up their mind about Blagojevich.<br> <br> <br> <br> &nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 26 Apr 2011 00:57:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/blagojevich-jury-duty-conflicting-oprah-show-85663