|Type||Subsidiaries 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). Harpo originally owned 50% of OWN along with Discovery Communications, which purchased 24.5% of OWN in 2017 and a further 20.5% in 2020, leaving Harpo with 5% ownership.
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+. That documentary series became known as The Me You Can't See, which Winfrey co-hosts with Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex.
On January 1, 2011, the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) launched. It is co-owned by Harpo Studios (5%) and Discovery Communications, Inc (95%). 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.
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.
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.
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.