Oprah Winfrey to be Inducted into Hall of Fame

Oprah Winfrey, whose meteoric rise from Chicago talk show host to one of Illinois’ most renowned broadcasters, will be inducted into the Illinois Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame.

Winfrey will enter the Illinois Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame as its sole inductee at luncheon ceremonies on May 3rd. ABC 7 Anchor/Reporter Cheryl Burton will serve as the emcee of the luncheon.

“Oprah is the epitome of broadcasting excellence,” remarked Dennis Lyle, president/CEO of the Illinois Broadcasters Association. “How fortunate for us that she chose Illinois to remain her stage through each phase of her career that has seen her skyrocket from local talk show host to national treasure to the global media personality she’s become today.”

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Also, the life of Oprah Winfrey is being made into a movie. Larry A. Thompson, a Hollywood filmmaker, is basing his story on the biography, Oprah, written by investigative reporter and international author, Kitty Kelley, and published by Crown Publishers, a division of Random House. (Read: Movie on Oprah Based on Kitty Kelley Book)

Winfrey came from Baltimore to Chicago in 1984 to host ABC 7 Chicago’s (WLS-TV) morning show, A.M. Chicago. Her openness, warmth and an unsurpassed ability to relate to audiences, catapulted the show to first place in the ratings, handily beating the other top daytime competitors.

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In 1986, under her new Chicago production company, Harpo Productions, Winfrey launched the Oprah Winfrey Show. The daytime talk show is internationally distributed to 145 countries worldwide, and viewed by millions of people around the world.

After 25 years, Winfrey will end her daytime television show leaving behind an amazing legacy. Her media influence and ties to viewing audiences will continue on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network which launched on January 1, 2011. 

Recently, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network announced a new series “Money Class” (working title) created and hosted by Suze Orman, acclaimed financial advisor, motivational speaker and television personality, set to premiere Fall 2011 on OWN. (Read: Money Class on Oprah Winfrey Network)

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Harpo Studios, located in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood, is among the leading production companies in daytime talk and will continue to create and produce original programming for broadcast, syndication and cable.

Winfrey will join a list of other prestigious IBA Hall of Fame inductees with ABC broadcasting ties. Paul Harvey entered the IBA’s Hall of Fame in 1974, Hugh Downs in 1980, the late Frank Reynolds in 1981, ABC News’ Chris Bury, in 2004 and most recently, former ABC Network News Anchor, Charlie Gibson in 2007.

Other IBA Hall of Fame luminaries include Roger Ebert, Gene Siskel, Jack Benny and Mike Douglas, among others.

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Rakesh Raman