Chicago, Illinois – The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) has found that cross country management of their productions was too much of a hassle and has decided to close down her Chitown-based Harpos Studios effective December of this year. However, filming ceased at the studio as of Tuesday. A lot has changed in the generation since Ms. Winfrey first launched the studio in this part of the city. At the time the opened the enterprise, she said the neighborhood was largely occupied by “hoes and rats”. Now, the neighborhood is no longer a pick up place for prostitutes, but has transformed into a family friendly environment.
Sadly, most of her 200 employees at Harpos Studios will be getting the proverbial pink slip and collecting jobless benefits. It is reported that very few will be offered positions to relocate to her new facility in West Hollywood. That studio currently employs 140 people. It isn’t clear what type of severance packages if any will be offered to her Chicago-based employees.
For her part, Winfrey became nostalgic when discussing the closure. She recalled how she has spent more hours of her life in that facility than any other building on the planet. She praised Chicago for offering her so much during her lifetime. Still, she believes closing the studio was the right thing to do. It proved quite time consuming to travel between West Hollywood and Chicago on a frequent basis. The closure will complete the consolidation of her production company “under one roof” as she put it. It was only last year that she sold the facility for $32 million to real estate investors. She has been leasing it ever since. The lease will remain in force until mid-2016. The new facility in West Hollywood is in a posh building called “The Loft”.