Oprah show ends, but at least Harpo stays

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On Monday, Oprah's production company, Harpo, announced a shake-up at the top. Button-down president Tim Bennett, 60, announced he'll retire in May and move to Santa Barbara. He's being replaced by not one but two insiders: Sheri Salata, longtime executive producer of "The Oprah Winfrey Show," and Erik Logan, Harpo's executive VP.

But in announcing their appointment, Oprah said in a statement: "Harpo Productions is a world-class production company in Chicago and will
 continue on after 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' sunsets."

Does that mean at least the company is staying in Chicago?

Apparently, given this positive affirmation Salata gave to the Tribune: "We're not going anywhere," Salata said Monday. "For more than two decades, you have this relationship with Chicago -- Chicago being our hometown city -- so that is our charge here, to keep this Chicago studio strong. Without the 'Oprah' show, there definitely are some challenges to that. But at the same time, without the 'Oprah' show, the whole world has opened up in terms of the ability to take the time to do other things as well."

What other things? That remains to be seen. For whatever it's worth, Logan added this businesspeak in that same statement from Harpo: "Harpo has built its reputation on consistently first-rate content with massive audience appeal on multiple platforms. Our history of proven success, combined with our unmatched production values and our ability to cultivate talent will be key drivers of our future growth."

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Thomas Conner published on December 8, 2009 8:28 AM.

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